This year, SB 1 and HB 824 created protections for Marylanders from firearm violence, in response to the Supreme Court's Bruen Decision.
SB 858 – Firearm Safety - Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn's Law)
HB 824 - Public Safety - Regulated Firearms - Possession and Permits to Carry, Wear, and Transport a Handgun
SB 1 – Criminal Law - Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting Firearms - Restrictions (Gun Safety Act of 2023)
While we were only monitoring the session, we submitted testimony on two legislations: SB 387 and HB 425 – Public Safety - Untraceable Firearms which was enacted without Governor Hogan's signature, and HB 659 / SB 676 - Firearm Safety - Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn's Law), which failed to pass.
During the 2020 Session, the General Assembly passed two important bills that were then vetoed by the Governor. We supported the successful overrides of these vetoes during the 2021 session:
HB 4/SB 208 - Public Safety- Rifles and Shotguns- Sales, Rentals, and Transfers - requires that a licensed firearms dealer facilitate the "transfer” of a rifle or shotgun. “Transfer” means a sale, a rental, a furnishing, a gift, a loan, or any other delivery, with or without consideration. A dealer may charge a reasonable fee for facilitating a transfer of a rifle or shotgun. The bill establishes penalties for violations.
SB 708 - Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Fund and Advisory Council – Alterations - Mandates $3 million in the annual State budget to the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Fund for oversight of the Fund, public outreach and education and technical assistance and best practice education for grantees. It also authorizes Baltimore City to use funding appropriated for the Safe Streets Initiative to cover its related expenses.
We supported the following legislation, which did not make it out of committee.
Child Access Prevention - HB 200 / SB 479
Legislation is needed to strengthen existing safe storage requirements applicable to firearms that are potentially accessible to an unsupervised child. Unsecured firearms in the home increase the risk of unintentional shootings, homicide, and suicide. The bill modifies the current law by: – increasing the age of a “child” from under 16 to under 18; – requiring that guns are locked by an external safety lock, by an integrated mechanical safety device or in a safe storage depository (lockbox); and – adding a potential penalty of imprisonment not to exceed two years. This bill will reinforce gun owners’ accountability and responsibility for the safe storage of firearms.
Legislation is needed to ban all untraceable guns, including 3D printed guns and firearms assembled by kits.
3D-Printed Guns, which are plastic guns capable of shooting live ammunition and made in a 3D printer.
Ghost Guns which are kits containing guns that are nearly complete and capable of creating weapons that lack serial numbers.
These weapons are assembled in a manner that circumvents our state and federal gun laws. They have no serial number and are therefore incredibly difficult to trace when used in a crime and can circumvent Maryland ’s regulated firearm registry. The exploitation of existing laws not only makes crimes more difficult to solve, but it makes it easier for domestic abusers and criminals to gain access to firearms.
HB 1629 - Office of the Attorney General - Firearm Crime – Study - Require the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to study information regarding firearm crimes committed in the State since August 1, 2015, as specified, and identify specified information for each 9-1-1 request for emergency assistance involving a firearm crime.
This year's proposed measures aim at outlawing 3D-printed guns — plastic guns capable of shooting live ammunition and made in a 3D printer — and ghost guns — kits containing weapons that are nearly complete and lack serial numbers. Another concern with advocates is the inability to prosecute people for illegal gun transfers due to the claim that a weapon was "loaned" to the other person, not sold.
Bills to outlaw 3D an ghost guns were filed as HB 740 and SB 882, and a measure to deal with "loaned" guns was filed as SB 346.
Many UU's are interested in the issues surrounding gun violence, from closing the gun show loopholes to providing better access to mental health and banning 3d and other traceless guns. We need leadership if we are to pursue this issue. If you are interested, please contact UUMD-MD's Coordinator, Ashley Egan.
Below is the status of the bills we supported at the end of the session:
SJ 2/HJ 9 - Freedom of the Press Day – [Designating June 28 as Freedom of the Press Day in Maryland to memorialize the lives lost on June 28, 2018, at the Capital Gazette offices] – Passed and Signed by Speaker and President (Governor's signature not needed)
SB 622 - Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention – Crime Firearms – Study –– Passed and Signed by Governor
SB 346 – Public Safety – Regulated Firearms – Prohibition of Loans – Passed and Signed by Governor
Other Prior Sessions
2018 Session - Following the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida
The following bills were enacted with the support of UULM-MD:
Rapid Fire Trigger Activators – Both Houses passed identical versions of a bill to ban the sale or possession any device, part, or combination of devices or parts that is designed and functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a firearm beyond the standard rate of fire for firearms that are not so equipped. The governor has signed the Senate Bill.
Handgun Permit Review Board – Appeals – A bill to abolish the Handgun Permit Review Board which had been used to overrule the decisions of the State Police denying handgun carry permits. In its place, a person whose permit is denied may request to appeal the decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) instead of the board. The Governor has signed the House Bill.
2013 Session - Following the mass school shooting at Sandy Hook, Connecticut
The Genergal Assembly passed the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, a comprehensive package of reforms to keep Marylanders safe from gun violence. The measure requires all handgun purchasers to undergo four hours of safety training and a background check that includes fingerprinting. It gave State Police the authority to regulate gun dealers, including the power to shut down those whose sales result in a disproportionate number of crimes. Lost or stolen guns must be reported within 72 hours. The law also limits gun magazines to 10 bullets, prohibits the sale of 45 models of assault weapons and copycats, and imposes new penalties for the use of cop-killer bullets in crimes. Finally, the law prohibits people who have had Probation Before Judgment for certain violent crimes, or anyone involuntarily committed for any length of time, from possessing guns.