2022 General Assembly Week Two Update

While the bill text is not yet available as of this writing, there is a lot of talk about bills that would ban, that’s right, ban, unserialized privately made firearms in Maryland. Attorney General Brian Frosh hosted a press conference where he was joined by Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, BPD Commissioner Michael Harris, Senators Susan Lee and Will Smith, Delegates Lesley Lopez and Luke Clippinger, and members of law enforcement from Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties.

Frosh announced that the bills, if enacted, would redefine “unfinished frame and receiver” and “firearm” to match the proposed ATF rules on what constitutes a firearm. He also announced that unfinished frames and receivers would no longer be legally acquired in Maryland on June 1, 2022, and current owners would have to have a federally licensed dealer inscribe a serial number on any they have by January 1, 2023, or face up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

 

MSI President Mark Pennak was interviewed by Steve Lash at the Maryland Daily Record for comment:

But Mark W. Pennak, president of the gun rights group Maryland Shall Issue Inc., said the proposed ban would strike at law-abiding citizens while criminals bent on acquiring ghost guns will get them even if it means traveling to a nearby state.

“The idea that this is going to be efficacious is fantasy,” Pennak said Thursday. “The only people who are going to comply with this law are the law abiding”

Pennak also objected to the proposal placing hobbyists at the mercy of licensed gun dealers by imposing on them, under penalty of prison, the costly option of selling their unserialized guns to the top-bidding dealer or having their guns engraved by the lowest-charging dealer .

He said California has a more reasonable requirement that hobbyists contact the state to be assigned a serial number, which they can engrave on their guns and send a photo of the serialized weapons back to the state.

Senator Lee said that she is willing to speak with ‘the other side’ of this issue, but we can tell you that no one has reached out to MSI about these bills this year or in the past. Rather remarkably, Senator Lee and others of her ilk also claim that gun owners support criminalizing law-abiding folks who have made their own guns. We find no evidence of such support. 

We will send out more updates when the bills are formally introduced and when hearing dates will be scheduled so you can sign up to testify. We expect the hearings will come fast in the 1st or 2nd week of February. This represents the biggest push against Maryland gun owners since the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 was introduced nine years ago. We will need your involvement if it is to be stopped or softened. Stay tuned for more.

Find all of the bills submitted so far and how to testify with our Tracker at: tinyurl.com/mdgunbills


 Bills Introduced Since the Last Update

ℹ️ SB286 - Firearms - Use of Medical Cannabis
Senator Michael Hough
MSI is providing Informational Testimony only
Hearing scheduled for 2/8 at 1pm
Signup to testify on 2/4 between 8am and 3pm with your MyMGA Account
For more on how to testify and signup, read our guide.

SB286 would disallow the state from denying firearms purchase, ownership, or carry to those authorized to consume medical cannabis. As we have explained in previous years on this bill, the trouble lies with the federal prohibition of cannabis and federal law that bars the users of illegal substances from acquiring or possessing firearms. While the State of Maryland might turn a blind eye, nothing the state could or would do can stop the federal government from enforcing laws passed by congress. A gun buyer who uses would be left in a precarious spot; disclose that they are an unlawful user trying to buy a gun, or lie and commit an act of perjury — both of which are prosecutable federal felonies with stiff penalties. Furthermore, nothing would prevent a local prosecutor from using that prohibition as a pretense to initiate a criminal investigation of someone who is using cannabis and possesses firearms. Delegate CT Wilson eloquently explained this last year in the House when SB190 was being cannibalized on the floor. We sympathize with all parties involved on this issue, but it’s all moot until the federal government removes cannabis usage as a prohibitor of firearms possession. Until then, citizens who consume are still vulnerable. You can find our full testimony on SB286 HERE.

SB327 - Public Safety – Permit to Carry, Wear, or Transport a Handgun – Qualifications
Senator Justin Ready
MSI SUPPORTS
Hearing not yet scheduled

SB327 would effectively make Maryland a shall-issue jurisdiction for the issuance of Wear and Carry permits. Applicants would still have to complete all of the other requirements for receiving a permit such as the 16-hour training course, fingerprints, and paying $75, but “good and substantial reason” would be satisfied by declaring the permit is necessary for self-defense. A bill to this effect has been attempted for decades, but this year’s discussion is sure to be interesting with the pending Supreme Court opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen just a few months away. We anticipate that New York’s ‘good cause’ requirements (identical to “good and substantial”) will be found unenforceable by the Court and thus, not enforceable in Maryland.

SB338 - Handgun Permit - Preliminary Approval
Senator Michael Hough
MSI SUPPORTS
Hearing not yet scheduled

If for some reason the Supreme Court is ok with may-issue permitting schemes after NYSRPA, this bill could spare carry permit applicants who don’t satisfy “good and substantial” hundreds of dollars. SB338 would move the required 16-hour training course to after the Maryland State Police have otherwise deemed an applicant eligible for a permit. They would then have 120 days to complete the training before receiving the permit itself. As some of you no doubt, unfortunately, know from experience, applicants may spend hundreds of dollars on a class only to be denied a carry permit by the State Police for not meeting “good and substantial.” This bill has passed the Senate numerous times, even unanimously, only to be bogged down or hijacked in the House of Delegates. We hope this year is different.

 

SB329 (HB30) - Election Law - Polling Sites - Firearms Prohibitions
Senators Jeff Waldstreicher and Bill Ferguson
MSI OPPOSES - Testimony
Hearing not yet scheduled

SB329 is the crossfile of Delegate Shaneka Henson’s HB30, which we testified on a few days ago. There is a difference, however, as SB329 was not introduced with the amendments made by Henson. Our testimony on the original version of HB30 can be read below the amended version on the bill’s page HERE.

 

As always, stay tuned for more info and don’t forget to check our Tracker. Consider joining us if you haven’t already and be sure to tell your friends and family about what’s going on in Annapolis!


Tags: Gun Control, ghost guns, cannabis, mdga22, privately made firearms, homemade guns, carry permits


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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

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