Breakdown of Gov. O’Malley’s Gun Control Bill (SB 281)

What the O’Malley-Brown Gun Bill does:

  • Defines all Regulated Firearms currently listed as “Assault Weapons” as “Assault Long Guns”.
  • Defines “Assault Weapon” as an “Assault Long Gun”; an “Assault Pistol”; or a “Copycat Weapon”.
    • Defines a “Copycat Weapon” as “a semi-automatic centerfire rifle that accepts a detachable magazine”…along with any one of a long list of features.

So, the bill consolidates all of these types of firearms under the heading “Assault Weapon”.

  • “Copycat Weapon” is an “Assault Weapon; “Assault Long Gun” is an “Assault Weapon”; “Assault Pistol” is an “Assault Weapon”…yet a “Copycat Weapon” does not include an “Assault an Assault Long Gun” or an “Assault Pistol”

The bill bans all “Assault Weapons” from being possessed or brought into the State of Maryland. There are some exceptions to the ban:

  • Assault Pistols possessed and registered prior to June 1, 1994
  • A Licensed Firearms Dealer can continue to possess/sell/transfer an “Assault Long Gun” or a “Copycat Weapon” lawfully possessed on or before 10-1-2013. (Note: it seems that “Assault Pistols” are not included)
  • An individual gun owner who lawfully possessed an “Assault Long Gun” or a “Copycat Weapon” before 10-1-2013 and registers the weapon with the State Police prior to 11-1-2013 may continue to possess said weapon.

(Note: Exceptions remain for tubular fed rifles in .22 caliber)

The bill limits all magazine capacities for any firearm to 10-rounds.

(Note: current law allows restricts to 10-rounds for a handgun/20-rounds for a rifle)

The bill adjusts the penalties and expands the definition for utilizing an “Assault Weapon” and/or magazines of greater than 10-rounds in the commission of a crime.

(Note: Current law only addressed Assault Pistols or a magazine of over 20 rounds).

Mental Health Issues/Adjustments:

  • Those under a court ordered Involuntary Commitment must surrender any firearms in their possession if the attending physician deems it appropriate. Once surrendered, the weapons cannot be returned until the individual is granted relief through the State Health Department after meeting several criteria for removing the disqualification stipulation.
  • Those who have been found “Not Criminally Responsible” are disqualified.
  • Those who have been voluntarily or involuntarily patient for 30 consecutive days or more are disqualified.
  • Those who have been declared unable to possess a firearm by a court based upon credible evidence of their dangerousness to others are disqualified.
  • Those under the protection of a guardian appointed by a court are disqualified.

In Order to Purchase a Handgun:

  • Possess a valid Handgun Qualification License;
  • Not be prohibited by Federal or State law from possession

Creation of a “Handgun Qualification License”:

  • This will be the means through which a person becomes authorized to “purchase, rent, or receive a handgun.” In order to take possession of a handgun, the following criteria must be met:

In order to qualify for a Handgun Qualification License, the individual must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Be a resident of Maryland;
  • Attend a state approved Firearms Safety Training Course within one-year prior to the purchase of the firearm.

The Firearms Safety Course must include the following elements:

  • Classroom instruction on:
  1. State Firearm Law;
  2. Home Firearm Safety; and
  3. Handgun Mechanisms and Operation.
  • Firearm’s Qualification demonstrating personal proficiency with the firearm.
  • Apply to the Central Repository for a National and State Criminal History Check
  1. Submit two complete sets of legible fingerprints to the FBI;
  2. Pay a fee associated with a Criminal Background Check to the state;
  3. Pay a fee associated with the FBI Background Check
  • Pay a $100.00 non-refundable Application Fee.

(Note: The Handgun Qualification License is good for five-years and can be renewed by meeting the same standards as prescribed in the original application and paying all associated fees required).

Individuals who move into Maryland after 10-1-2013:

The bill appears to prohibit bringing any Assault Weapon into the state following the ban date. Regulated firearms that are brought into the state after this date:

  • Must be registered with the MD State Police within 30-days after establishing residency;
  • Must pay a non-refundable fee of $15.00 per weapon registered.