MGA2019: Testimony in Opposition to HB468 and SB441 - Public Safety - Access to Firearms - Storage Requirements

PDF Available Here

These bills would amend Md Code Criminal Law § 4-104. Specifically, current law provides that “[a] person may not store or leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised child would gain access to the firearm” and makes any violation punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. A child is defined for these purposes as a person “under the age of 16 years.” This bill would change the definition of a child to a person under the age of 18 years and modifies the prohibition to provide that a “person may not store or leave a loaded OR UNLOADED firearm in a location where the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised child COULD gain access to the firearm, UNLESS THE FIREARM IS LOCKED.” It also changes the punishment from 1 year in prison to 2 years in prison.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Opposition to HB740 and SB882 - Criminal Law – Firearms – Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3D Printed Firearms & Ghost Guns)

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House Bill 740 and Senate Bill 882 would enact two new possession criminal offenses into law. MD Code Criminal Law §4-111 to create a new crime by providing that a person may not “transport” into the State any firearm made after 1968 that does not have a serial number imprinted by federally licensed manufacturer. Section 4-111 would also provide that a person may not “(2) manufacture, possess, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, or receive a firearm manufactured after 1968 that is not imprinted with a serial number issued by a federally licensed firearms manufacturer or importer.” A violation of this section is punishable by 3 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

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Major Attack on Gun Owners in Maryland!

If you are a gun owner who resides or could reside in Maryland, your rights are under attack like never before.  The Maryland General Assembly has put forth a series of egregious bills this session and we ask you to HELP US fight them! Not only do we need self-defenders, but also hunters, competitors, tinkerers, and recreational shooters, as the legislature has declared all of us public enemy number one!

Not content with making the lives of handgun owners miserable, now they are after the hunters and long guns. Bill SB737 was just introduced and that bill requires anyone desiring to purchase or "receive" a long gun obtain a LONG GUN QUALIFICATION LICENSE!  Highly similar to the Handgun Qualification License, this license will require 4 hours of training and fingerprinting and ban any person from receiving a long gun without having first applied to the State Police for this LGQL.  Even after getting an LGQL, a purchaser would also have to wait 7 days before picking up their long gun, and the bill would limit them to a single long gun purchase per month!  Additionally, anyone who moves into the state will be required to register their long guns within 90 days of establishing residency!  And there are loads of severe criminal penalties for those who fail to comply for any reason.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Support of SB114

Firearms Safety Act of 2013 requires that a person complete a 16 hour training course, taught by a State certified instructor, “prior to application” for a carry permit. MD Code, Public Safety, § 5-306(a)(5). Senate Bill 114 would amend Section 5-306 to delete the requirement that the training be completed “prior to application.” It then provides that a person may file an initial application for a wear and carry permit without completing the training and directs that the State Police to issue a preliminary approval if the person is otherwise qualified for the permit. The person then has 120 days after receipt of the preliminary approval to furnish the State Police the certificate of training otherwise required by the regulations. A permit does not issue until that training certificate is provided. If no certificate of training is provided, the State Police are directed to revoke the preliminary approval and deny the permit application.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Opposition of SB113

SB 113 would amend MD Code Public Safety 5-304. That section sets out the requirements for an application for wear and carry permits issued by the Maryland State Police. It establishes fee caps for the applications and provides that the applicant for a carry permit may pay the fees under this section by “a personal check, business check, certified check or money order.” SB 113 would amend this last requirement, providing that the applicant must pay via “a method of payment approved by the Secretary.” For the reasons set forth below, this change is misguided and would impose additional barriers on applicants who lack the means to meet the State Police’s new requirements.

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Hogan Signs Gun Control Bills Into Law!

Governor Hogan disregarded our veto requests and has signed the Handun Permit Review Board Bill (HB 819) , and the “red flag” bill (HB 1302). As detailed in our veto letters to the Governor (the letter on HB 819 can be found HERE, and HB 1302 letter can be found HERE), both bills were bad, but the HB 1302 “red flag” bill was the worst.

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Veto request for HB819, the Handgun Permit Review Board repeal bill

Dear Mr. Shank:

This letter is submitted on behalf of Maryland Shall Issue, its officers and Board and all its members, to request that Governor Hogan veto HB 819, as enacted by the General Assembly. As you may know, Maryland Shall Issue is an all-volunteer, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners’ rights in Maryland. The undersigned President of Maryland Shall Issue is an attorney and an active member of the Bar of the District of Columbia, having recently retired from the United States Department of Justice, after 33 years of practicing before the federal Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. For the reasons set forth below, HB 819 is an unfounded attack on the Handgun Permit Review Board whose members are appointed by you. It deserves to be vetoed.

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ACTION ALERT: "Red Flag" bill (HB 1302), the so-called "Extreme Risk Protection Orders" bill. UPDATED

UPDATED: 

Well, HB 1302, the so-called Extreme  Risk Protection Orders bill, has emerged from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and quickly passed the Senate.  The vote in the Senate was 31-13.  Up front, we wish to thank the tireless efforts of Senator Hough, Senator Ready, Senator Cassilly and Chairman Zirkin in the Committee to remake this bill from the House version. And because of their efforts, the resulting bill is certainly a big improvement over the bill that was passed by the House. To their great credit, Senators Hough, Ready, Cassilly and Senator Linda Norman (who is new to the Committee, having just been appointed to the seat filled by her late husband) voted against this bill in Committee. That is because these Senators realized that the bill is still a legal abomination. Even under the JPR amendments, the bill still makes gun owners a unique class in the law, e.g., a person who can be proceeded against and whose property can be seized simply because of his or her status as a gun owner.

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ACTION ALERT! Urge your representatives to pass SB27 AS-IS

The Opposition is playing games with SB 27, which is the preliminary approval bill for a carry permit. This bill passed the Senate 44-1 this year and was approved by the House Judiciary Committee 18-0. It passed the House last year. The opposition wants to tack on amendments to make it hard on republicans. We need, however, something to pass in the House for it to get to a conference with the Senate. PLEASE, call and write your representative ASAP to urge them to stand firm and get this bill through the House in accordance with what passed the Senate and what the House did last year.

You can find your representatives HERE

SB27 can be found HERE


House Gun Bill Day - March 6, 2018

MSI is urging our members and all who care about firearms rights to come out to Annapolis on Tuesday, March 6, 2018! This is gun bill day in the House of Delegates. No rally or formal hosted event is planned. So far 38 bills are scheduled for this day.

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MGA2018 Legislative Update

Well, it is starting to get exciting in Annapolis.  We are tracking legislation and updating it often on our website with links to the bills and our testimony.  We do want to highlight here a few of these bills and encourage our members (and other supporters of the Second Amendment) to contact their legislators and come out and testify.  MSI needs your support. 

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National Reciprocity Passes the House!

Passage of this bill (H.R. 38) in the House is huge and is strongly endorsed by MSI. The bill contains multiple provisions greatly strengthening the rights of individuals with concealed carry permits and and of residents of constitutional carry states that allow concealed carry without a permit.

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MSI Position on Utilization of the Terrorist Watch List for Gun Sales

Maryland Shall Issue is opposed to the Terrorist Watch List for the same reasons the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is opposed to the Terrorist Watch List, it lacks due process as required under the 5 th and 14 th Amendments to the Constitution. The Terrorist Watch List was created as an investigative tool, and was never intended to provide due process. The government does not disclose to people that they are under investigation.

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Latest News

Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators

 

In a sharply split, 2-1 decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that Maryland may ban the possession of "Rapid Fire Trigger Activators" by existing owners without paying just compensation under Fifth Amendment or the Maryland Constitution.  The majority ruled that no just compensation was owed to existing, lawful owners because the ban “does not require owners of rapid fire trigger activators to turn them over to the Government or to a third party.”  In short, as far as this majority is concerned, the State is free to ban the possession of any personal property without paying just compensation unless the State puts the property into its own pocket or the pocket of a third party.  If that is the law, then no personal property, of any kind, is safe from the grasping clutches of the General Assembly.  For example, the State could ban possession of your existing car and not pay a dime.  The dissenting opinion ably demolishes the majority's reasoning.  Needless to say, we will be seeking further review.

You can read the ruling HERE.  Stay tuned.

Maryland Shall Issue will continue to fight for the interests and rights of its members and the public, but to do so requires resources and your help. Consider joining or donating to MSI.

Background Checks for Firearms Purchases and Licenses Interrupted

Due to a systems failure on the morning of June 21st within the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services (DPSCS), the Maryland State Police (MSP) was no longer able to complete background checks for Handgun Qualification Licenses (HQL), regulated firearms transfers (77R transfers), and Wear and Carry Permit background investigations. DPSCS have since restored their systems and the MSP have been processing background checks as fast as they can. We appreciate the efforts of the State Police to remedy the backlog as quickly as possible, though the bureaucratic processes created by the General Assembly compounds these issues for Marylanders who are merely trying to protect themselves.

From the MSP:

Background Checks Underway After Data System Restored

(PIKESVILLE, MD) — Maryland State Police Licensing Division employees worked throughout the night and will continue to work around-the-clock to address pending regulated firearm purchase applications after a state data system was restored late yesterday.

At about 8:30 p.m. yesterday, the State Police Licensing Division was notified by officials at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services that the data system had been restored and access to background check information was available.  Employees at the Licensing Division immediately began completing background check investigations on the regulated firearm purchase applications that had been pending since a system failure occurred on June 21st.

Licensing Division employees worked throughout the night and will continue to work around-the-clock until all pending and incoming regulated firearm purchase applications have been reviewed and are being completed within Maryland’s required seven day waiting period.  Even with employees working 24-hours-a-day to address this, the process is anticipated to take several days to complete.  The Licensing Division continues to work with Maryland’s licensed firearms dealers to track any regulated firearm released after the waiting period, but before full completion of the background check process.

As of 4:00 p.m. yesterday, information from Maryland firearms dealers indicated that of the 893 firearm purchase applications eligible for release, 54 regulated firearms had been released to customers after the seven day waiting period had passed.  The individuals receiving those firearms were the first ones background checks were conducted on during the night.  There were no prohibiting factors found for any of those applicants.


As far as we know, there's no evidence or information to suggest that anyone's personal information was comprimised while the systems were down and none of the applicants whose dealer released firearms to them failed or would have failed background checks.

While the MSP have asked the Dealers to hold off on releasing any regulated firearms (handguns) until the checks completed, dealers may release regulated firearms on the 8th day after a transaction at their discretion. From the MSP's latest advisory on 6/25:

Should the RFD elect to exercise their statutory option to release a regulated firearm on the eighth day, we ask that the procedure listed below be followed:

1. The RFD will access their Licensing Portal;
2. locate the application to be released within the “SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS” section;
3. print a copy of the application;
4. verify that all information in “Section 4” is accurate;
5. both the RFD and the applicant will sign and complete “Section 6;”
6. scan and send the completed copy of the 77R to .

Additional Coverage:
Maryland Handgun Background Check System Crashes, Leaving Gun Buyers in Limbo - Washington Free Beacon
Citing a ‘catastrophic hardware failure,' Maryland State Police report delays in gun background checks and licenses - Baltimore Sun
Guns sold without completed background checks in Maryland - WUSA9
After ‘Catastrophic Hardware Failure,’ Dozens Of Guns Were Released Without Completed Background Checks In Maryland - WAMU

Contact Info

Headquarters:

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

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