Hunters protest new gun control measures - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Hunters protest new gun control measures

Hunters from the Eastern Shore were demonstrating several days last week, protesting a bill, HB692,that would require any sales of hunting rifles and shotguns to go through a licensed dealer.

By Rachel Bluth
Capital News Service

Deer season may be over in Maryland, but lobbying season is well underway in Annapolis.

Hunters and gun enthusiasts have held signs this week around the State House, protesting two bills that were debated in the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Friday.

One bill, HB1000, sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger, D-Baltimore, would prevent anyone on the FBI terrorist watchlist from buying a gun.

Over 2,000 people on the watchlist were allowed to purchase a gun in the past decade since the Terrorist Watchlist has been in existence, Clippinger said. Current federal law doesn’t prohibit people on the watchlist from buying a gun.

Del. Deb Rey, R-St. Mary’s, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, was skeptical that it would keep guns away from terrorists.

“The intent is to keep guns out of the hands of citizens,” Rey said. “I believe it is a way to usurp the Second Amendment.”

Opponents say the bill violates due process by restricting rights for people who may not have been convicted or even charged with a crime, according to written testimony submitted to the committee by the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Errors in terrorist watch list

Sarah Love, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said her organization doesn’t oppose reasonable restrictions on purchasing guns, but said if gun rights are going to be restricted, it can’t be based on an “error-prone” list.

The criteria to be on the Terrorism Watchlist are secret, and the ACLU objected to people being denied rights based on a secret list, where those named may not be aware they are on it, or why.

Ken Gude, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said the potential risks of a terrorist getting a gun far outweighed the due-process concerns, which he said could be mitigated by providing a mechanism in the law for people to appeal if they are on the list erroneously.

Clippinger’s bill would prevent anyone on the Terrorist Watchlist from purchasing a “regulated firearm, rifle, or shotgun.” Gun rights’ activists say this is naive, arguing that bona fide terrorists wouldn’t go through the regular permitting and purchasing requirements anyway.

A similar bill in the Senate is scheduled for debate in the Judicial Proceedings Committee on March 16.

Another bill that has drawn the ire of hunters, HB692, would prohibit owners of rifles and shotguns would prohibit them from selling directly to another person without going through a licensed dealer.

Firearms in domestic violence cases

Another bill, HB1001, sponsored by Delegate Will Smith, D-Montgomery, does not place new restrictions on guns, but aims to increase enforcement.

Currently, anyone convicted of a “domestically related crime” must forfeit their weapons. Smith’s bill requires judges to tell people convicted of these crimes that they have two days to turn their guns over to law enforcement or a licensed dealer.

Though the law has no penalty for judges who do not comply, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said merely providing a legal mechanism will be enough.

“They’re not doing it now because it’s an oversight. If the legislature lays out a clear path for them to follow, they’ll follow it,” Frosh said last month when the legislation was announced. “Judges follow the law.”

The Senate version of this bill is slated to be heard in the Judicial Proceedings Committee on March 9.

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Maryland Reporter is a daily news website produced by journalists committed to making state government as open, transparent, accountable and responsive as possible – in deed, not just in promise. We believe the people who pay for this government are entitled to have their money spent in an efficient and effective way, and that they are entitled to keep as much of their hard-earned dollars as they possibly can. Contact the author.


  1. Randy HK-91 says:

    You see the nutjob Liberlas going after gun rights !! Lets get Revenge==VOTE Like your rights depend on it -They do!!! Join the NRA and GOA and Vote em out in Nov..!

  2. Barry Hirsh says:

    The so-called “terror watch list” ban is patently unconstitutional not only under the 2A, but also pursuant to the due process command in the 5A.

    The 2A guarantees a fundamental right, and the 5A guarantees that it cannot be denied without due process of law, i.e. an arrest upon probable cause of a crime, an arraignment or indictment, a trial by a jury of one’s peers, and a CONVICTION.

    There is no work-around in the Constitution that makes any exceptions.

    None. Anywhere.

    It is aggravating that “liberal” politicians just don’t give a damn about constitutional limitations on government power.


  3. ramrodd says:

    The fact that his suggestion that anyone on the No-Fly list should be made
    to surrender their weapons was as unconstitutional as it gets. Of course,
    that has never been a deterrent to Barack Obama. His absolute disregard for the
    Constitution is so widely documented it barely justifies recognition. But, just
    as an exercise, I would like to point out that the deprivation of life, liberty
    or property without due process of law is patently unconstitutional, and that is
    not who we are.

    christianmerc . blogspot . com

  4. jack burton says:

    For decades many hunters have shied away from supporting “gun rights” since they thought the battle was only over those “yucky handguns.” Now that they are coming for your hunting rifles/shotguns perhaps you’ll be a bit more attentive to the ultimate goal of the gun banners.

    • Randy HK-91 says:

      Dont forget those Evil Black rifles !! Fudd Hunters dont seem to care to rotect! Glad to see their Ox Getting gored this time !!

  5. fsilber says:

    If they could ban guns from everyone on the terrorist watch list, President Obama would simply instruct that all private citizens are to be placed on the terrorist watch list. Instant national gun ban!


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