Firearms Control

FIREARMS CONTROL: Action to strengthen gun control laws.   (1991)
 
Support for:
  1. Requirement of a proficiency test as part of the procedure for obtaining a hunting license.
  2. Restriction on the availability of handguns (not including the banning of handguns).
  3. Registration of all handguns including a more effective identification process.
  4. Compilation of more adequate and uniform firearm and firearm crime statistics by the State Police.
  5. Development of police public relations programs to educate the public about firearms, especially gun safety, gun laws, and gun crime and accident statistics.
Background: LWVMD Convention of 1989 adopted a proposal to use the “concurrence” process to develop state agreement with the firearms control positions of the Baltimore County League. Before that concurrence was due, the LWVUS at the 1990 Convention adopted a position on gun control by convention concurrence. The LWVUS position is: Protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons. In 1991, LWVMD reached concurrence and adopted a state position.
 
Action:
  • Supported making it a crime to keep a loaded firearm accessible to children and regulating the sale of firearms at gun shows.
  • Worked with Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (MAHA) to educate the public and advocate for handgun control. (ongoing)
  • Supported the Maryland Gun Violence Act of 1996 which limits handgun purchases to one gun per month, with exceptions for collectors and large purchases from estate sales; requires that buyers in private purchases be subject to a 7-day waiting period and back-ground check and provides for removal of firearms in domestic violence situations. (achieved) Supported child safety requirements for handguns. (ongoing)
  • Supported the Responsible Gun Safety Act of 2000 which requires that every new handgun must be sold with a trigger lock, beginning January 2003. The Act also requires (effective in 2002) that all new handgun owners must take a firearms safety course. (2000 – achieved)
  • Supported bills (“Project Exile”) which would have provided that persons carrying guns, knives, or any other deadly weapon on school property could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. (2000 through 2003 – defeated)
  • Supported gun safety education in the public schools (the “John Price Gun Safety Education Program”). Legislation was enacted but vetoed by the Governor because he was concerned about allowing county boards of education to implement programs involving handling of guns and ammunition, and to use “community or civic organizations”, such as the National Rifle Association in its programs. The League agreed with the Governor’s decision.
  • Supported a state ban on assault weapons because Congress failed to extend the federal ban. (2007 not achieved)