ACTION: Call your Maryland State Delegates Today to ask them to keep Marylanders and visitors safe from gun violence. These bills will specifically strengthen protections for women in domestic abuse situations. And they will close dangling loopholes in Maryland’s existing laws. The bills coming before our Congressional Delegations specifically speak to issues of safety for ALL of us. Today this bill is being heard in committee--- Therefore, it is not yet on the house floor.
OVERVIEW: On March 7, 2017 The Maryland Senate heard testimony on proposed legislation for two items regarding gun safety legislation. (See Carroll CAN CTA, March 7, 20117). TODAY, the House bills will have a hearing. Please read through these measures below to be familiar with the laws. And then take action to support reasonable gun safety legislation for Marylanders and all visitors.
REPEAT BACKGROUND (FROM 3/7/17 CTA): Many Marylanders are sports-men & women and enjoy owning guns. Many are safety conscious and use firearms with care. Many others simply want to ensure our basic Constitutional rights are upheld and feel strongly that gun ownership is a guaranteed right. All of these are valid concerns and most people can agree to rationally protecting everyone’s rights. However, in our society it has also become glaringly clear that some members of society should not possess or have access to weapons of explicit destruction. To that end some very common- sense- laws are being proposed thru our State Legislature. Many Women’s groups, Parents groups, Educators and others are banding together to protect each other by passing and supporting Sensible Gun Safety for ALL.
Please join in this effort by making a call today. (Good news: HB 159, Weapons Free Higher-Education bill passed in the House!)
TODAY, March 14, 2017 the Maryland HOUSE Judicial Committee will hear testimony on HB 1424, Domestic Violence Forfeiture Process (Firearms Transfer Bill) and HB 1448, Closing the Loophole, Background Checks for Long Guns (Rifles & Shotguns, Secondary Transactions). One Carroll County Delegate is on this committee, Delegate Trent M.Kittleman.
CALL TO ACTION: If you reside in Maryland District 9A, or have concern about these bills, call this delegate and request HER support for these bills in committee on March 14.
Delegate Trent M. Kittleman (R) District 9A
800-492-7122 ext. 3556
SAMPLE SCRIPT: ( feel free to put this into your own words) Please work toward keeping Maryland safe from gun violence, by supporting these life-saving bills, HB 1448 - requiring background checks for long guns and HB 1424 - to keep guns away from domestic abusers; I further want to add, that while it isn’t being discussed today, I support HB 159 - keeping campuses safe and weapons free.
Gun Reform, General Assembly of Maryland
HB 1424 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FORFIETURE PROCESS
• Maryland law, already requires that prohibited abusers under protective orders must turn in their guns once the order is in place—and courts inform abusers that they must do so.
Maryland law also prohibits people convicted of domestic violence from purchasing new guns, but there is nothing in the law that ensures abusers turn in the guns they already own.
• That means that someone who has been convicted of a serious crime, and can no longer legally possess guns, would still have access to deadly weapons.
• The group Court Watch Montgomery tracked the cases of 126 offenders prohibited due to a domestic violence conviction in a 1-year period in Montgomery County. The group found that in only one single case among those offenses was the convicted abuser even informed that he could not possess guns due to his conviction.1
• Many states, including nearby states like Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, have
state laws that require convicted domestic abusers turn in their guns.
• The law should ensure that these convicted abusers turn in their guns before they can use them to further harm their partners, families, or anyone else.
• This law would require every person who is convicted of a disqualifying domestic violence crime to turn in any guns he/she owns.
• This law would also allow convicted abusers to choose whether to turn their guns in to law enforcement or to a gun dealer once they become prohibited.
HB 1448 CLOSING THE LOOPHOLE, BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR LONG GUNS
• Current Maryland law requires criminal background checks for all handgun sales, but not for all rifle and shotgun sales.
• Maryland has required background checks on gun sales for twenty years, but dangerous people can evade these laws easily by buying rifles or shotguns from unlicensed sellers without going through a background check.
• Long guns can be just as deadly as handguns.
• While Maryland women make up only 10 percent of all gun homicide victims, they account for 36 percent of those killed with rifles and shotguns.1
• Sixteen percent of intimate partner gun homicides in the US are committed with a long gun.
• Among the 19 states that require background checks for all handgun sales, 13 of them also require background checks for all rifle and shotgun sales.
• People selling shotguns or rifles would simply meet their buyers at a gun dealer, who would conduct the criminal background check using the same process dealers already use for sales from their own inventory.
• Nearly all (99.9 percent) of Marylanders live within 10 miles of a licensed gun dealer.2
• Legislation should include reasonable exceptions from the background check requirement, including for family, hunting, and self-defense.
1 FBI Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2009-2013
Many Thanks to Bridget, for this detailed well researched CTA!