After a busy 2017 session where we graded almost thirty pieces of firearms-related legislation, the Maryland state legislature came back into session yesterday with more to do. Thus far, we've identified three pieces of legislation that we will be tracking and grading for 2018.
Del. Deb Rey (R) received the one of the worst scores in the Maryland House for her regressive record on firearms legislation last year, and she's at it again in 2018, submitting HB 29. Under current Maryland law, Section 5-301, Subsection A, a permit applicant must pass a number of criteria, among them being successful completion of a firearms training course that includes 16 hours of instruction. This bill would eliminate that requirement. We are urging opposition
In the state Senate, there are two pieces of legislation that are both before the Judicial Proceedings committee: SB 74 and SB 99.
SB 74 is a bump stock ban submitted by Democrat Victor Ramirez. We are urging support.
The second is a Republican bill, SB 99, similar to a recent California bill that would eliminate a "cause" provision when applying for a handgun permit. It targets the same law that HB 29 does, inserting "personal protection [and] self defense" into the current clause, which reads
...has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.
This is a standard Republican attack on reasonable protections and a continued attempt to move toward their vision of anyone having any gun anywhere for any reason. We are urging opposition.