Pro-2A Groups Swarm Maryland Gun Control Hearings

According to mrc.org, gun control advocates are getting eight times as much press coverage as supporters of the second amendment. Case in point: while the rather tiny march organized by the optimistically named One Million Moms for Gun Control was covered by CNN, despite barely filling a sidewalk, the massive turnout in Annapolis yesterday in support of gun rights went largely unnoticed. Well, by everyone except the Washington Times that is . . .

Hundreds of gun-rights supporters who gathered Wednesday in Annapolis are now lined up to testify against a proposal by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley that would ban assault weapons and require residents to obtain a license before purchasing handguns.

The Second Amendment advocates held a morning rally outside the State House to show their disapproval in advance of this afternoon’s Senate hearing on the legislation.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing began at 1 p.m. and was expected to stretch to at least 9 p.m., as more than 400 people were signed up to testify as of 3 p.m. Senate staff members said hundreds more were lined up outside the Senate legislative building, hoping to submit testimony.

“We have come to a point where hysteria is ruling the debate,” Tom Morris Jr., a gun-rights advocate and former correspondent for the TV series “America’s Most Wanted,” told the committee. “There’s so much in [the bill] that’s detached from reality.”

This has been happening all across the country. Meetings have been swarmed by people arguing to protect their right to keep and bear arms from government infringement, from the Newtown meetings to local rallies at state capitols. And while its effect on the politicians has yet to be seen, there’s no doubt that it’s damned impressive to watch.

In fact, it’s up for debate whether these hearings will have any impact on the legislative agenda whatsoever. Call me cynical, but I see these as exercises in confirmation bias. In the minds of the pols, if tons of gun control advocates come out then obviously the population is clamoring for more restrictions and more gun control is the right thing to do. But if tons of gun rights “nut jobs” turn up, then obviously they’re trying to bully the politicians into promoting murder. Heads you win, tails I lose.

This isn’t just conjecture, either. One gun rights supporter stated to the committee “ignore this crowd at your future political peril,” to which Brian E. Frosh (judicial committee chairman) stated under his breath “I’ll take my chances.”

One of our readers, Kilroy Collins (whose photos adorn this post) made it out to the Maryland rally and snapped some pictures to share with us. He had this to say about the rally:

After driving in circles due to the President also visiting Annapolis today, I got to Lawyers Square around 11:20am. There were approximately 1,500-2,500 people there, sporadically cheering the pro-gun speakers. Many people had signs, and there was a homemade billboard truck driving laps around the block. People were circulating petitions and handing out pro-gun stickers. I didn’t see any counter-protestors outside, and only saw 4 inside the Senate building.

At the Senate building, I got in line to hand in written testimony and sign up for oral testimony. The line went from the street, through the courtyard, along the halls, and upstairs to the hearing room. Rumor was that there were hundreds of people already signed up to testify. At 1300, I gave up on registering to speak, and went into an overflow room to hear the Judicial Committee session. It was standing room only, with people overflowing into the halls.

Governor O’Malley spoke in support of the bill, followed by the Lt. Governor, and various other government representatives. They were followed by various pro-gun associations and industry groups, including Beretta USA, NRA-ILA, and NSSF. The session was then organized into hour blocks of alternating viewpoints, despite the vast majority of attendees being against the bill. The senate building actually had to be closed because there were too many people waiting to get in. Tables were set up outside and people continued to sign up to speak.

As I’m writing this, the testimony is ongoing, with enough people signed up to keep testimony going for a few days.

Democracy in action is a beautiful thing.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

30 Responses to Pro-2A Groups Swarm Maryland Gun Control Hearings

  1. avatarpk in AZ says:

    Notice the “slant” in the article: quote: “Hundreds of gun-rights supporters……”

    Now to the words of Kilroy Collins: quote: “There were approximately 1,500-2,500 people there….”

    • avatarDerek says:

      I caught that too. To be fair though, he was referring to the number of people signed up to testify. Granted, he words it in a way that sounds like he’s referring to the total number of people at the rally.

    • avatarBuell301 says:

      3000+ according to reliably pro-gun Washington Post (sarcasm)!!

      Those of us who couldn’t get out of work for Annapolis were tearing it up at the Rockville Town Hall in the most liberal heart of the state.

    • avatarpat says:

      This is the way the evil leftists operate, with the complicit libtard media elite.

  2. avatarJavier says:

    If you don’t speak up for your rights they won’t hear you.
    MSM will ignor all opposing views.

  3. avatarBlake says:

    Prediction: the gun control legislation will pass anyway.

    The money behind these politicians will make sure these politicians stay bought. So what if the pols are bounced out of office? They’ll retire with a bunch of cash in the bank and plot returning to politics in a few years after their image has been rehabilitated. Or, these pols will be promised a cushy well paying job lobbying for special interests.

    • avatarBuell301 says:

      Some Dems from rural areas are already wavering on it, and and even some of the more liberal Dems are listening to our concerns.

      We’ve framed it as CIVIL RIGHTS, which grabs their attention.

      • avatarWilliam says:

        Until they figure out it’s THAT civil right.

        Annapolis is lovely; deserves a better state than Maryland. Come to Virginia. BRING CRAB CAKES. BRING CRAB CAKES.

  4. avatarHT$ says:

    Frosh is an arrogant a$$. It would not shock me at all if his reported statement’s are true. I am from his district and already plan to do everything I can to get him voted from office… though I will admit its an uphill battle given the liberal district his is in.

    I always wondered if it is arrogance or stupidity… while Frosh sits in the capitol guarded by those with (what he would call) assault weapons, he authoritatively proclaims that they have no use for defensive purposes.

  5. avatarMauser says:

    I was there. I think 2500 people is a fair estimate of the turnout. Not only was the Senate building closed due to capacity restrictions, but the courtyard in front of the entrance was completely filled with protesters against the bill waiting to get in. There were no more than a few dozen bill supporters there. Much of the testimony supporting the bill was from state employees…go figure. They were running a repeating schedule of one hour of testimony supporting the bill followed by one hour of testimony opposing the bill. They ran out of bill supporters sometime around 6:30pm, but by 8:30pm were only on page 8 of the 40 pages of people signed up to testify against the bill!

    • avatarBob says:

      Thank you VERY MUCH for being there! And same to the other commenters here that were there. Even though I’m from Texas, none of us are safe. Thanks for fighting the fight for all of us.

  6. avatarRobert M says:

    My experience is they don’t listen to individuals but listen to numbers. Not to say there aren’t those that will go one way or the other no mater what but those “fence sitters” who are more motivated by how the issue will effect them getting re-elected then anything else are the ones we have the greatest change with. If these members see themselves losing if they vote for the bill you will see the bills changed or plan off killed. That is how bills like this have been killed or greatly watered down in MD in the past. We just have to keep up the pressure.

    Thanks
    Robert

  7. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I await for the court cases. Its tough for the liberal media to bury those, Randy

  8. avatarElliotte says:

    My wife and I were there. We spent 4+ hours waiting in line to sign-up to testify. There were 4 bills being discussed in the hearing yesterday. The committee chair, Brian Frosh (D), had a separate signup list for each bill, requiring people to fill out their name, address, phone number & position 4 times, which drastically slowed down the line. My guess is that this was an attempt to discourage folks from signing up, but for 99% or more it didn’t work. The hearing started at 1pm and ran till 9:30pm only because Senator Frosh limited each side to 4 hours of testimony (the pro-gun-confiscation side couldn’t fill their 4 hours). Each person was limited to 3 min of testimony plus any questions the Senators had (they literally had a timer up there that you could hear in the audio stream). The last 45-60 min people weren’t permitted to give a full testimony, but were allowed to come, state their name, where they lived, and state their position on the bills.

    At one point the Fire Marshall closed down access to the building because there were already so many people inside. This was a state senate hearing, but there was a pro-gun state Delegate, Don Dwyer, who was helping coordinate things for those not in the hearing room who said that in his 11 years as a Delegate this was the first time either the Senate or House buildings had been shut down by the Fire Marshall because of the number of people showing up to testify.

    • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      I was really impressed by how Delegate Dwyer made sure things kept organized when we were at the Senate building.

      Speaking of which, it was a fairly calm event. If a speaker needed to make an announcement, everyone was shutting up within 10 seconds or so. A lot of people were dressed well. Only a few obvious conspiracy nuts and moral extremists, which was refreshing.

      • avatarElliotte says:

        Yeah, everyone was calm (except for a few folks who got rightfully agitated when we found out we weren’t gonna be given a chance to speak). There wasn’t a lot of trash all over the place (only a few dropped stickers that I saw) and I didn’t hear of any reports of police needing to do anything other than direct traffic.

  9. avatarJesse says:

    I was there yesterday. They allotted 4 hours for the supporters of the bill and 4 hours for the opposition of the bill. At a certain point in the evening one of the security guards asked if there was anyone else wanting to speak supporting the bill because they had run out of names on the list. They only had enough people to fill 3 and a half hours. We filled 4 and a half and we still had a line to walk in and state their name and that they oppose the bill.

  10. avatarDBeans says:

    I think gun owners care more about keeping there guns and keeping there magazines than that 60% that support more gun control cares about gun control. I think in the end we win were really breaking through here. Gun owners not letting themselves be ashamed and showing they have the dignity needed to be free people.

  11. avatarsdog says:

    I am glad to see that there is coverage of yesterday’s events on ttag, this is real and scary for us in the (un) “free state” what is even worse was the coverage of it in the baltimore sun.

  12. avatarDisThunder says:

    Very proud of you guys. I’m way out west, but know we’re with you.

  13. avatarMichael B. says:

    “Democracy in action is a beautiful thing.”

    Democracy in action led to the election of these tyrants in the first place. Is this some confirmation bias?

    • avatarElliotte says:

      Eh, I think party-line voting did more harm than democracy. Lots of voters have been indoctrinated by their family, friends, schools, coworkers, etc. that only the Democrats are looking out for them, so instead of analyzing the issues that the candidates support and deciding which is the best one for them, they vote the party they were taught to vote for without considering the consequences of those actions.

  14. avatarTRUTHY says:

    “Democracy in action is a beautiful thing.”

    They’ll pass it anyway.

  15. avatarOldLawman says:

    I was there from 0730 on, in suit and tie. I was pleased with the overall appearance of the crowd – more women and younger people there than might be expected on the pro 2A side.

    The bill has several components, some of which are new to Maryland. I suspect that some portions will pass; others will get chopped out.

  16. avatarLance says:

    Awesome that how we win is grassroots activism. I find how the media are lying sacks of crap. While they play it down just to a few hundred in reality most there counted and estimated the number well past 1000 people. Always keep an eye on new media to counter fascist MSM!

  17. avatarCZJay says:

    Now they need to vote out those bad people.

    Some of those people that showed up to speak should run to replace them.

    I always see a lot of talk from gun owners, but never really anything that will change the course we are on.

  18. avataruncommon_sense says:

    Wait. I thought all gun owners were seething cauldrons of rage that explode at the slightest provocation. How is it possible that something like 2000 gun owners attended a hearing at the capital about criminalizing semi-automatic rifles and none of the gun owners shot up the place? (end_sarcasm).

  19. avatarKory says:

    Thank God I left Maryland just in time! Gotta love South Dakota!

  20. avatarBrent Klinger says:

    Hi,
    I have a question I was just in Maryland. From Pennsylvania about 3-5 miles over the line picking up a friend and had my hand gun in the truck not even thinking about it I gave the officer my permit and they arrested me they never read me my rights I don’t know if they have to or not. Oh and I’ve never been in trouble or have never had a record in my life and I’m not sure who to talk to about this or who to take to court in june do you guys have any suggestions.
    Thank you

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