2/18/23 - Updates from the Maryland General Assembly

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Earlier this week, testimony was heard on HB 481 and HB 307, and advocates for the right to keep and bear arms did not disappoint. HB 481 was met with outspoken resistance not only from gun owners’ rights advocates, but also from advocates for criminal justice reform, public defenders, and the ACLU of Maryland. All cautioned the Judiciary Committee about the effects of enforcement and convictions that exist under current law and how increasing the penalty for the wear, carry, and transport of handguns without a permit will do nothing to increase public safety. The entire hearing can be viewed HERE and the opposition panels HERE. Kudos to those who testified against this really awful bill.

HB 307, the mandatory storage bill, was also met with fierce opposition. NO ONE disagrees with the safe storage of firearms. However, the bill is dangerously vague on what’s required of gun owners and is likely unconstitutional. In one exchange, Delegate Conaway questioned how a gun owner is supposed to quickly retrieve their ammunition and load their firearm while being attacked in their home under the bill. An individual’s right to self-defense does not disappear because they’re unable to also spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on a gun storage device that may or may not be compliant with the terms of the bill.

You can watch the entire hearing HERE and the opposition HERE.

Again, thanks to all who submitted in support of their fellow Marylanders’ right to keep and bear arms. We’ll continue to monitor these bills for any updates.

So far, no movement on SB 1 or the other gun-related bills on which we have taken positions. That could change at any moment, especially now that we’re nearing the halfway mark of the session. Stay tuned.

Gun Bills Being Heard This Coming Week

This week is busy.

We’ll be testifying against HB 580 “Election Law – Polling Sites – Firearms Prohibitions” on Tuesday in the Ways and Means Committee at 1pm. This bill is similar to those submitted in the last few sessions and still has unconstitutional provisions even under New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. Read our full testimony in opposition to the bill HERE. The signup window to testify on this bill closed on Friday.

Also being heard Tuesday in the Senate, is the crossfile of HB 307, SB 858 “Firearm Safety - Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn's Law)” and SB 656 “Criminal Law - “Failure to Properly Store Firearm - Death of Another”. As with HB 307 for the reasons explained above and in our written testimony, we oppose SB 858. SB 656, however, takes a different approach on storage by penalizing the gun owner if their violation of the current version of MD Code, Criminal Law, § 4-104 results in the death of another. We have informational testimony to provide the committee on this bill. Testimony signup on both of these Senate bills is open Monday from 8am to 3pm. They’re being heard on Tuesday at 1pm.

We’ll be back in the House on Wednesday before the Judiciary Committee testifying against HB 824 “Public Safety - Regulated Firearms - Possession and Permits to Carry, Wear, and Transport a Handgun”. HB 824 seeks to add to the list of individuals prohibited from getting a wear and carry permit and codify and expand the processes taken by the Maryland State Police in the course of investigating applicants. It would also double the existing fees of permits to $150 for an initial permit, $100 for renewal, and $20 for duplicates. Getting a permit is already a costly affair, with the average first-time applicant spending anywhere between $500 to $750 between the training, fingerprints, and fees for the permit itself. Governments might be able to require licenses for carry permits, but they cannot require fees beyond what it costs to administer the licensing scheme. If that weren't enough, it makes the permit valid for only 2 years instead of the current 2-year period for an initial permit and 3 years for renewals. HB 824 would also seem to conflict with the licensing provisions contained in the revised version of SB 1. Any differences between those bills on licensing would have to be ironed out before they could become law.

Testimony signup on HB 824 in the House Judiciary Committee opens Monday from 8am to 3pm. They’re being heard on Wednesday at 1pm.

You can watch the hearings on these bills from the MGA website or via each committee’s YouTube page.

See our guide on submitting testimony and using your MyMGA Account here: https://bit.ly/3QKUQa2

If you already have a MyMGA Account, signup here:


As always, follow our Gun Bill Tracker to stay on top of latest coming from the General Assembly.

If any of these bills are to be stopped, it will only be because of your engagement with your representatives. You can find out who your State senator and delegates are at https://bit.ly/2uyerBk. We’ve prepared a guide on how the legislative process works, speaking with your lawmakers, and testifying HERE. Your participation is critical in protecting your rights and those of your fellow Marylanders.

If you’re not already a member of MSI, don’t be a free rider. Join us. It’s one of the best ways to stay in the know. MSI officers and directors are all volunteers and work without pay so your dues and contributions go toward advocacy and if needed, litigation.


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Latest News

Testimony in Opposition to SB 1, a "Bruen Response" Bill


SB 1 Criminal Law - Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting Firearms - Restrictions (Gun Safety Act of 2023)
Sponsored by Senator Waldstreicher
Heard before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on 2/7/2023: https://www.youtube.com/live/CizgPIOuGCQ?feature=share&t=3139

MSI's Oral Testimony in Opposition

SB 1 as passed by the Senate being heard before the House Judiciary Committee on 3/29/2023 at 1pm.

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Maryland Shall Issue®, Inc.
9613 Harford Rd
Ste C #1015
Baltimore, MD 21234-2150

Phone:  410-849-9197
Web:   www.marylandshallissue.org