In this issue:

1. ACTION ITEM - HB 332 - Civil Immunity Bill
2. Reserve the days - February 12th and February 19th
3. Lessons in legislative activism
4. More on the Howard County Hunting Bill
5. Who needs a gun in Gambrills?
6. Judge says citizens need to buy guns

1. ACTION ITEM - HB 332 - Civil Immunity Bill

As promised, Delegate Bill Frank (R - District 42, Baltimore County) has submitted HB 332, the Civil Immunity bill, along with 40 co-sponsors. This is the bill that was submitted as HB 1060 last session and was passed unanimously by the House of Delegates only to to be desk drawer vetoed by the chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. We aim to change that outcome this year. We also expect to see this bill cross-filed in the Senate and will keep you up to date when that occurs

YOUR JOB:
•Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee who are not already sponsors of the bill and ask for their affirmative vote on HB 332, Delegate Frank's Civil Immunity Bill. Remind them that they voted for it last year and that it passed unanimously on the floor.
•Delegates Frank, Conaway, Dwyer, Kelly, Kramer, McComas, McConkey, Schuler, Shank and Smigiel are the members of the committee who are already sponsors so no need to contact them to ask for their support. You can thank them though.
•Contact your delegates from your district and ask them to vote for HB 332, Delegate Frank's Civil Immunity Bill. Remind them that the bill was passed unanimously last year and that you respectfully request their affirmative vote again this year.

TOOLS TO ASSIST YOU (thanks to our friends at MDShooters.com):
Find your delegate
Pre-formatted mailing labels for the House Judiciary Committe
Email addresses for the House Judiciary Committee
How to create mail merge letters using pre-formatted labels

2. Reserve the days - February 12th and February 19th
The opening salvo of the 2009 hearing season is upon us and will commence on February 12th. It appears that they are trying to divide our efforts by scheduling hearings in both the Senate and House on the same day on the 12th. The House will be hearing the civil immunity bill that day and the Senate will hear several bills dealing with protective orders and the surrender of firearms.

On the 19th, the House will hear the protective order bills.

We will have specific information for you in coming days, but it is imperative that we get our letters written, phone calls made and our leave days lined up.

3. Lessons in legislative activism
Several MSI members recently joined Delegate Dwyer and members of the Ron Smith fan club for an evening at the House of Delegates Office Building for a discussion on the workings of the General Assembly. While the discussion ranged far and wide over many topics, there were some recurring themes that we brought back as suggestions on effective issue advocacy:

•Do something...anything. Silence is assent. When we are silent, they presume we agree.
•Target your efforts. There are exceptions, but in most cases, you should only contact the delegates and senators that are in your district.
•Email contacts are OK, but snail mail letters speak volumes.
•Every correspondence should start with "Delegate ______, I am a resident of your district"
•No chain letters. Keep them short, focused and single subject.
•We must tell two friends, then they tell two friends and so on. We feel very good about having 200 gun owners show up for hearings. There were other hearings last year that drew well over a thousand citizens.
•Own the press. We must blanket the letters to the editor page. Our elected officials do read that page.

4. More on the Howard County Hunting Bill
This bill lives on and has had some amendments added on to it. Neither are ideal, but Amendment #2 is an obvious attempt to make the regulations for hunting in Howard County so onerous, that it will be a de facto ban.

Amendment 2 reads:
1 On page 4, after line 28, insert:
2 "(D) ANNUALLY, AT LEAST 15 DAYS BEFORE ANY GUN IS DISCHARGED ON PROPERTY COVERED
3 BY THIS SECTION, THE PROPERTY OWNER SHALL:
4 (1) SEND WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE CHIEF OF POLICE THAT STATES WHEN HUNTING WILL
5 OCCUR;
6 (2) NOTIFY BY FIRST CLASS MAIL EACH RESIDENT OF ABUTTING PROPERTIES THAT
7 STATES WHEN HUNTING MAY OCCUR; AND
8 . (3) POST, AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE PROPERTY, A SIGN THAT:
9 (I) INDICATES THE RANGE OF DATES WHEN HUNTING MAY OCCUR; AND
10 (II) IS OF THE SAME SIZE AND STYLE AS THE SIGNS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF
11 RECREATION AND PARKS POSTS FOR MANAGED HUNTS."
12
13 Also on page 4, In line 29, strike "D" and substitute "(E)".

We only have a limited amount of time to make our voices heard as the hearing is expected to occur on February 2. You may contact the council members as follows:

The general phone number for the County Council is (410) 313-2001 and the fax number is (410) 313-3297.

District 1:
Courtney Watson, Council Member
Email: cwatson@howardcountymd.gov

District 2:
Calvin Ball, Council Member
Email: cbball@howardcountymd.gov

District 3:
Jen Terrasa, Vice Chairperson
Email: jterrasa@howardcountymd.gov

District 4:
Mary Kay Sigaty, Chair
Email: mksigaty@howardcountymd.gov

District 5:
Greg Fox, Council Member
Email: gfox@howardcountymd.gov


5. Who needs a gun in Gambrills?
From the Baltimore Sun:
"A Gambrills couple in their 60s was held captive at gunpoint by a pair of robbers, who tied them up and ransacked their home after using a ruse to get into the house, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday."

6. Judge says citizens need to buy guns

From Chattanooga:

"There should be a law that law abiding citizens with no felony convictions should own a gun," the judge said while setting bond for Colton Dobbins.

Judge Moon told Danielle Walker, "I know many fine police officers. But we can't depend on the police to protect us any more."


This is the second such new item to come out in recent weeks. You may recall that St. Louis Alderman Troupe said as much back in December. We know that the government has absolved itself of any legal liability for failing to protect us, but now we are seeing incidences of elected officials admitting that they can not do so. We hope that our elected officials in Maryland will soon come to their senses, as 40 other legislatures have, and recognize that citizens have an inherent right to self-defense.

Maryland Shall Issue.org
P.O. Box 314
Libertytown, MD
21762-0314
ph. 240-446-6782


Mission Statement
"Maryland Shall Issue is an all volunteer, non-partisan effort dedicated to the preservation and advancement of all gunowners' rights in Maryland, with a primary goal of CCW reform to allow all law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon; and to the education of the community to the awareness that 'shall issue' laws have, in all cases, resulted in decreased rates of violent crime."