Read about the progress of legislation and news with regards to gun owners rights and the National Rifle Association.
Maryland General Assembly Session 2019 Sine Die Report
This was a truly…interesting…session. This year resulted in 27 House Gun Bills, 19 Senate Gun Bills, 12 House Hunting Bills, and 10 Senate Hunting Bills. With the passing of Maryland’s longest-serving Speaker of the House of Delegates, Michael E. Busch, Sine Die was a story of difficult negotiation overshadowed by a mixture of remembrance events.
I have updated the MSRPA 2019 Maryland General Assembly Bill Tracker with the complete bill status as of midnight on Sine Die.
I will not touch on every bill but will highlight some of the more concerning bills from the session. They are presented in numerical order for ease of tracking.
House Bill 0095 / Delegate Dumais / Public Safety – Firearms Disqualifications – Antique Firearm (Shadé’s Law)
This bill, which has been presented now for several years, was withdrawn by the sponsor early in the session.
House Bill 0096 / Delegate Dumais / Public Safety – Regulated Firearms – Prohibition of Loans
This bill was modified from its original content but remained in a form that MSRPA opposed. It passed the House of Delegates, but never received a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and is now a dead letter, as it expired as a bill when the gavel fell at midnight.
House Bill 0468 / Delegate Stein / Public Safety – Access to Firearms – Storage Requirements
This bill would have significantly changed the requirement for storage of firearms in the home. It received a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, where it remained until becoming a dead letter at Sine Die.
House Bill 0612 / Delegate Ivey / Public Safety – Regulated Firearms – Colt AR-15 Sporter H-BAR Rifle
This bill indicates the desire of the Progressives to go back on a specific promise made at the passage of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 – the removal of the Heavy Barrel exemption to the banning of AR-15 platform semi-automatic firearms. This bill received a contentious, somewhat contemptous, presentation in the House Judiciary Committee, where it remained until becoming a dead letter at Sine Die.
House Bill 0740 / Delegate Dumais / Criminal Law – Firearms – Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3–D Printed Firearms and Ghost Guns)
A bill, in its original form, that would have banned future home manufacture of most firearms along with banning innumerable firearms manufactured after 1968 without a serial number. This bill passed the House of Delegates, but never received a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and is now a dead letter, as it expired as a bill when the gavel fell at midnight.
House Bill 0786 / Delegate Atterbeary / Public Safety – Rifles and Shotguns – Transactions
One of our focal points of opposition this year, this bill began as a convoluted licensing bill, intending to make long-arm sales as torturous as handgun sales were made in the Firearms Safety Act of 2013. This bill passed the House of Delegates and was heavily amended by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee before passing the Senate. The House refused to concur on the Senate Amendments, which sent the bill to a conference committee (3 Delegates & 3 Senators work to iron out differences to attempt passage of a bill). The Conference Committee was unable to meet and complete their work and the bill became a dead letter at Sine Die.
House Bill 1343 / Delegate Atterbeary / Public Safety – Handgun Permit Review Board – Repeal
Another of our focal points of opposition, this bill is nothing more than a blatant power grab by the legislature in retribution to the Governor’s appointment power. The bill, and its companion in the Senate, SB1000, passed with overwhelming veto-proof majorities as Emergency Bills. At this point, Governor Hogan has some time to consider one of three actions: 1) Sign the bill into law, 2) Allow the bill to lapse into law without his signature, or 3) Veto the bill. We do not have any idea if he is willing to veto this blatant and petulant attack.
Senate Bill 0346 / Senator Ferguson / Public Safety – Regulated Firearms – Sell, Rent, Transfer, or Loan
This bill is the crossfile of House Bill 0096. In its original form, it would have been a convoluted way to overcome the Chow decision commonly quoted by Anti-2A lobbyists. The bill was modified to focus on the intentional act of loaning a firearm to a prohibited person. This bill passed in that form and now awaits the same three-pronged decision by the Governor.
Senate Bill 0441 / Senator Smith / Public Safety – Access to Firearms – Storage Requirements
The crossfile of House Bill 0468, this bill received a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee where it remained until becoming a dead letter at Sine Die.
Senate Bill 0737 / Senator Lee / Public Safety – Rifles and Shotguns – Transactions
The crossfile of House Bill 0786, this bill was significantly modified in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and passed the Senate. It was rereferred to the House Judiciary Committee on Sine Die where it received no movement prior to the gavel making it another dead letter.
Senate Bill 0882 / Senator Smith / Criminal Law – Firearms – Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3–D Printed Firearms and Ghost Guns)
This is the crossfile of House Bill 0740. It received a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, where it remained without further activity until becoming another dead letter on Sine Die.
Senate Bill 1000 / Senator Beidle / Public Safety – Handgun Permit Review Board – Repeal
The Senate version of House Bill 1343. Similar to the crossfile, this is a direct attack on the Governor and citizens of the state, passed easily through both houses, and awaits the Governor deciding which of the three paths he will apply.
This has been a very tough and intense year for everyone. I am grateful to our partners in the other 2A organizations within the state. I would also like to take a moment to thank all of you that came down and expended time/energy/days off to testify in support and defense of our natural rights. It may not appear to make a difference, but some of these items could have gone drastically differently without the input and communication with your Senators and Delegates.
2nd Vice President – Legislative Affairs
Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Association