Governor O’Malley of Maryland has put forth a gun proposal that would include an assault weapons ban, limits on magazine capacity, universal background checks, registration of firearms and fingerprinting of gun owners. This assault on the Second Amendment has spurred thousands of citizens to travel to Annapolis to attend the hearings before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, last month, and before the House Judiciary Committee, Friday.
SoMdNews.com reported that Friday’s hearings lasted from noon until almost 4 a.m.
The Maryland Sheriff’s Association was one of the groups testifying at Friday’s hearing.
On major gun bills of interest, Maryland Sheriff’s Association President Sheriff Mike Lewis (Wicomico) and Sheriff Tim Cameron (St. Mary’s – serving as Chair of the Maryland Sheriff’s Legislative Committee) testified in opposition to provisions of gun legislation that adversely impacted gun ownership, sales, transfer, licensing, and other prohibitions that restricted a qualified citizen’s right to purchase or own a firearm.
Long, but worth listening to in full:
The Maryland Sheriffs, as Maryland Constitutional officers, had previously met and discussed the current gun bills; assessing their public impact and constitutionality. In formulating a stance on these bills, the Maryland Sheriffs reinforced the need for thorough and complete background checks to prevent those who are disqualified from owning or purchasing a firearm. Further, the Sheriffs supported efforts to fully identify and screen those persons with mental health needs who pose a risk to themselves or others from owning or possessing firearms. Another tangent of their position involved the full and effective prosecution of all current firearms statutes that involve gun crimes, and in particular those gun crimes with aggravating factors of drugs or acts of violence. Measures to assure the full implementation of sentencing with the maximum penalties applied for gun crimes is of critical importance for the removal of these criminals from our communities. The stance and proclamation of the Maryland Sheriff’s Association in regard to current gun legislation and related public safety aspects is attached to this release.