MPGV continues its commitment to strengthening Maryland’s background check and licensing system. During the 2018 session, we will address bills that will help address any loopholes or enforcement and fight bills that will weaken our current gun laws.
Ban on Bump Stocks (SB 707 & HB 888):
This bill introduced by Senator Victor Ramirez and Delegate David Moon will effectively ban ‘bump-style’ stocks and other accessories that enable a semi-automatic rifle to simulate automatic gunfire. This will close a weakness in Maryland’s assault-weapons ban that was highlighted after the horrific shooting in Las Vegas.
Elimination of Handgun Permit Review Board (SB 741 & HB 819):
The Handgun Permit Review Board (HPRB) hears appeals when an applicant is denied a Wear and Carry permit by the Secretary of the Maryland State Police. The board consists of five citizens who are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. There are no requirements of legal education or expertise for those appointed to the HPRB. Since Governor Hogan’s tenure, the HPRB has more than doubled granted appeals of Wear and Carry (concealed carry) permits. This bill sponsored by Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary aims to eliminate the HPRB and place the hearings in the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) where the appeals can be heard by experienced judges who will work to uphold Maryland’s gun laws rather than circumvent them.
Definition of Transfer (SB 860 & HB 1031)
This bill sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais and Senator Bill Ferguson will close a dangerous loophole that exists in Maryland law making it difficult to enforce illegal gun transfers. With no definition of transfer in Maryland law, courts have found it difficult to convict illegal handgun sales committed without a background check due to the defense claiming that the transaction was merely a loan. The oversight prevents law enforcement from keeping illegal guns from being diverted to the underground market. This bill and definition will ensure that a loan is also defined as a transfer to prevent such manipulations of our legal system from continuing to happen.
Funding for Evidence-Based Gun Violence Prevention Programs (SB 545 & HB 432):
This bill sponsored by Delegate Brooke Lierman and Senator Joan Carter Conway would provide funding to city and county municipalities for evidence-based programs to reduce interpersonal gun homicide. This could include Ceasefire or Cure Violence models involving group violence intervention, violence interrupters (eg. Safe Streets), and hospital-based intervention programs. These programs aim to go beyond traditional law enforcement practices and prevent violence before it happens.