Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010

A bill filed by Delegate Smigiel for the purpose of specifying that a license issued by Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Virginia to an individual to carry a regulated firearm, is valid in Maryland was heard in my committee yesterday.

This bill would essentially allow properly registered and licensed concealed weapons permit holders to transit the state without violating the law in Maryland. Currently, law abiding citizens of neighboring states must place their weapons in the trunk of their vehicle.

As usual, the bill sponsor and supporters were grilled extensively by several members of the Judiciary Committee. These members look unfavorably on most second amendment rights issues that come before them. Their criminal law practices tend to make them much more sympathetic to defendants than victims. Further they are very untrusting of the average citizen having the right to protect themselves, instead believing that the police are the only proper defense against violent attack. The chairman of the committee, Delegate Joe Vallario, is the staunchest of the opponents of these issues. This year he faces a serious challenge in his Democratic primary from a former policeman whose outlook is likely to be quite different than his own on such matters. We will see how this challenge affects his position on this bill in this election year.

I am supporting this bill. Police always arrive late to the scene when a victim has already suffered life changing or life ending injuries. Police are a deterrent, but so are unknown armed citizens. A criminal can not be sure that a chosen victim is not armed or that he might be shot by an armed bystander.

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Authority: Committee to Elect Susan K. McComas
Mary Lou Hoopes, Treasurer