When you think of heavily gun controlled states, names like New York, California and New Jersey immediately come to mind. But don’t sleep on Maryland. The Eat Crab or Die State has long been at the forefront of Second Amendment rights abrogation and a new bill entered in the state’s House would move the Old Line State way up on the #gunsense hit parade.
HB 1261, authored by House Speaker Adrienne Jones along with Reps. Vanessa Atterbeary and Eric Luedke, was introduced Friday and would ban a range of firearms after October 1. It would also require those already owning assaulty-looking guns to register them.
But what makes the bill fairly unique is the escalating cost of registering “assault guns or copycat weapons” that kicks in after the bill’s deadline.
Registering with the Department of State Police before January 1, 2021 costs Marylanders nothing. But then complying with the law would require emptying your wallet.
Here’s the bill’s escalating
penalty fee schedule:
1. ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2021, AND BEFORE MAY 1, 2021, A REGISTRATION FEE NOT EXCEEDING $290 PER FIREARM;
2. ON OR AFTER MAY 1, 2021, AND BEFORE NOVEMBER 1, 2022, A REGISTRATION FEE NOT EXCEEDING $580 PER FIREARM; AND
3. ON OR AFTER NOVEMBER 1, 2022, AND BEFORE MAY 1, 2023, A REGISTRATION FEE NOT EXCEEDING $1,000 PER FIREARM.
What happens if you fail to register your gun at all before May 1, 2023? Prosecution, of course!
A PERSON WHO LAWFULLY POSSESSED AN ASSAULT LONG GUN OR A COPYCAT WEAPON BEFORE OCTOBER 1, 2020, AND WHO REGISTERS THE ASSAULT LONG GUN OR COPYCAT WEAPON ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2021, AND BEFORE MAY 1, 2023, ONLY AFTER BEING DISCOVERED IN POSSESSION OF THE ASSAULT LONG GUN OR COPYCAT WEAPON BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE PENALTIES IN § 4–306 OF THIS SUBTITLE.
A PERSON DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH 1 OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH IS GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND ON CONVICTION IS SUBJECT TO IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING 1 YEAR FOR EACH INCIDENT IN WHICH THE PERSON IS DISCOVERED WITH UNREGISTERED FIREARMS.
“Assault long guns” has already been defined in Maryland law here. HB 1261 lists a range of “assault pistols” that would be banned, guns like the TEC-9, the Czech Skorpion, Uzis and the like.
Oh, and “copycat weapons” under the bill means any gun that has one of those really disturbing features like thumbhole stocks, forward grips, barrel shrouds, yadda, yadda, and:
THE ABILITY TO DISCHARGE THROUGH FIRING ACTION ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ROUNDS:
A. .450 BUSHMASTER;
B. 5.56 MILLIMETER (INCLUDING THE 5.56X45 11 MILLIMETER NATO AND .223 REMINGTON);
C. 7.62 MILLIMETER (INCLUDING THE 7.62X39 13 MILLIMETER, .308 WINCHESTER, 7.62 NATO, 7.62X51 MILLIMETER NATO, .30 14 CARBINE, 7.62X33 MILLIMETER, OR 300 AAC BLACKOUT);
D. .50 BMG;
E. 5.7X28 MILLIMETER OR
F. ANY OTHER ROUND DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE TO BE CAPABLE OF PENETRATING THE STANDARD BODY ARMOR WORN BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHEN FIRED BY THE PISTOL;
No ambiguity there, huh?
There’s much more that’s equally egregious, but you get the idea. Again, you can read the bill here.
Will Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan sign such a bill if it gets to his desk? Don’t bet against it.
[This post has been updated to correct the name of the Maryland House speaker.]