Gun laws unlikely to be repealed (MD)


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MikeK
January 1, 2003, 01:31 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/metro/20030101-55943940.htm


Repeal of gun laws unlikely
By S.A. Miller
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Maryland legislators say attempts by Republican Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to alter the state's strict gun laws, such as the one taking effect today that could ban the sale of most new handguns, will encounter stiff resistance in the General Assembly.

In the Senate, Mr. Ehrlich's gun proposals would have to get past Sen. Brian E. Frosh, chairman of the Judicial Proceeding Committee. Mr. Frosh, Montgomery County Democrat, was a strong supporter of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's agenda that made Maryland one of the strictest gun-control states in the nation.
The toughest opposition in the House is expected from Delegate Joseph F. Vallario, a Southern Maryland Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He also is considered a supporter of Mr. Glendening's gun-control agenda.
House Speaker-elect Michael E. Busch, Annapolis Democrat, could also stop Mr. Ehrlich from making changes. He was a supporter of Mr. Glendening's gun-control initiatives and could use his high-ranking position to thwart proposed changes to the former governor's policies.
The fierce tenor of the gun-law debate was evident during the fall election campaign, when Mr. Ehrlich proposed reviewing the gun laws, then was lambasted by Democrats for being a pro-gun candidate intent on arming criminals.
Still, Mr. Ehrlich has not retreated from his plan to review the laws, including the ballistic-fingerprinting program, which has been criticized as ineffective and expensive.
"Governor Ehrlich will carefully review each gun law in Maryland to ensure that it is meeting its original intent," Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said this week. He declined to discuss specific laws, citing the backlash during the campaign.
Mr. Busch said he thinks Mr. Ehrlich should review the laws, but said an attempt to repeal or substantially alter them would be met head-on by gun-control advocates in the General Assembly.
"I don't see that dynamic changing in the legislature," he said.
House Minority Leader Alfred W. Redmer Jr., Baltimore County Republican, agrees, saying, "Anything that Ehrlich does related to guns is going to probably face some fierce opposition by a few members of the General Assembly. However, those few members will hold key leadership positions."
Mr. Redmer said the election created a more conservative House membership more accepting of changes to gun laws. But the Democratic majority gave the leadership positions to the party's liberal wing, which will be in a position to block proposed changes.
"Committee chairs and presiding officers wield incredible power over the process," he said. "Often that is all you need to kill legislation, regardless of the amount of support it has among the members of the body."
Meanwhile, some lawmakers are planning a move to repeal the law taking effect today that mandates that new handguns sold in the state have built-in safety locks. Some major gun manufacturers, including Colt and Maryland-based Beretta, have pulled their guns from Maryland stores instead of complying with the law.
Gun dealers fear a big drop in business because fewer gun models will be available for sale. Only six new handgun models with internal locks have been approved by the Maryland Handgun Roster Board.
The repeal effort, even if Mr. Ehrlich lends his support, is not expected to succeed.
"There will probably be some attempt at repealing it, but what are the chances of the liberal House of Delegates passing that?" said conservative Sen. Alex X. Mooney Western Maryland Republican.

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2dogs
January 1, 2003, 01:40 PM
"Governor Ehrlich will carefully review each gun law in Maryland to ensure that it is meeting its original intent,"

Oh yes, by all means, you go ahead and review- this will lead to ever increasing freedom for all Americans.

The good Governor, nor anyone else will EVER admit what the "original intent" of this or any other gun law is.

:banghead:

cuchulainn
January 1, 2003, 06:58 PM
That's the problem folks. Laws, gun or otherwise, are harder to repeal than they are to pass.

Our legislative victories are temporary. The grabbers' victories are more permanent. Eternal vigilance. Then again, when we pass laws we like (CCW, anti-lawsuit) the tilt goes our way.

JeepDriver
January 1, 2003, 08:11 PM
Yet another un happy Marylander here. We can hope the new Governor can ease the laws we suffer under. But I don't see it going that way. I'm starting to look at the used gun market on the net as well as the mil surp pistols that are out there.

Kharn
January 2, 2003, 01:33 AM
Lots of MD gun laws are actually defined by committee, for example all integral handgun locks are examined/approved by a committee, the same with handguns applying to be on the approved handgun list. If Ehrlich has any control over who is on those committees, we could make out well if he appoints the right people.

Kharn

chaim
January 2, 2003, 05:31 AM
It is true that not one law can be repealed through this process as only the legislature can pass or repeal these laws. However, I still think this can be valuable. This state is generally quite liberal and anti-gun but there is a conservative undercurrent. Columbia, a long-time liberal bastion is still very liberal but Democratic party voter registration is either going down or standing still (some sources say one some the other, but it isn't growing) while Republican registration is growing very fast and the numbers are starting to get close (in Howard County, the county Columbia is in, it is now about 50-50). The Baltimore area (outside the city anyway) is becoming more conservative and was the strength behind the Ehrlich win. The rural areas are of course quite conservative. With Ehrlich reviewing the laws he will get publicity for the fact that they are useless. I can even see there being some positive news reports (TV and Washington Times anyway, no way the Sun or Post will put a pro-rights spin on anything gun related). With the state already moving slowly to the center I can see some public pressure mounting to abandon some of the laws. At any rate you can't change the place overnight, this is one small baby step towards maybe re-joining the United States of America someday.


Oh, for a list of approved gun locks:
Approved Integrated Mechanical Safety Devices (from the MD State Police website) (http://www.inform.umd.edu/UMS+State/MD_Resources/MDSP/gunsafetydevice.html)

Approved Integrated Mechanical Safety Devices

. Cimarron-Aldo Uberti System for SAA

. Ghost,Inc., for Glocks only

. Heckler & Koch System

. Saf-T-Trigger by Saf-T-Hammer

. Springfield Armory, Integral Locking System

. Taurus Systems, separate systems for revolvers and semi-automatics



The Maryland Handgun Roster Board

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