In this issue:

1. Bill summary and hearing dates
2. Tools for contacting your elected officials
3. Coming to hearings in Annapolis

1. Bill summary and hearing dates


Hearing Date 2/12/2009
HB332 - Victims of Crime - Burglary and Crimes of Violence - Civil Immunity - House Judiciary - Strongly Support
This is one of our sponsored efforts for this session. Our previous updates gave you the plan of action for this and we hope that you have sent your letters, emails and faxes as well as made calls. We must be successful here in order to advance this through the House of Delegates at large. Maximum effort on this item. Cross-filed as SB420. No hearing date there.

SB 144 - Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearms -Senate Judicial - Oppose
SB210 - Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearm -Senate Judicial - Oppose
SB267 - Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearms -Senate Judicial- Oppose
SB268 - Temporary Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearms -Senate Judicial - Oppose
Our opposition to these bills as well as their companion bills in the Senate is not born out of callousness to the plight of those that suffer with the specter of abuse in their lives. We oppose them for their lack of due process. The seizure of property based on an accusation without confirmation of the veracity of the claims, the lack of specificity in how the firearms would be transported and stored to ensure the care of valuable property and the lack of procedure for the return of the property make this group of bills a potential nightmare for any firearms owner who may find themselves at the receiving end of one of these orders.

Hearing Date - 2/17/09
HB353
- Public Institutions of Higher Education - Firearms, Knives and Deadly Weapons - Prohibition - House Judiciary- Oppose
This is a redundant bill born out of reaction to the Virginia Tech incident. We have already have laws in Maryland addressing every aspect of this flawed bill.

We raise questions such as: What defines a "knife"? Will the dining hall only serve soups and soft vegetables and allow sporks? Will this preclude the continuation of club firearms and archery teams that meet on campus? How about martial arts clubs? Baseball bats, lacrosse sticks and hockey sticks all make very effective weapons and we will be sad to see that those teams will be disbanded because of the potential use of those implements for nefarious means. We also wonder how the maintenance of the campus will continue without the use of hammers, saws and screwdrivers.

Everyone wants our campuses to be a safe place for learning. However, the use of bad, reactionary legislation to advertise a victim disarmament zone and create a greater opportunity for a target rich environment is not the way to do it.


Hearing Date - 2/19/09
HB214 - Temporary Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearms - House Judiciary - Oppose
HB296 - Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearms - House Judiciary- Oppose
HB302 - Temporary Protective Orders - Surrender of Firearms - House Judiciary- Oppose
Companion bills to the House versions above. Opposition based on same factors.

HB359 - Handgun Permits - Victims of Domestic Violence - House Judiciary - Support
This is an interesting bill. If our General Assembly has such compassion and concern for the victims of domestic violence, let them give those victims the most effective means of self-defense available, a handgun permit worn about the person.

Hearing Date - 2/24/09
HB 470 - Handgun Permits - Repeal of Finding Requirement -House Judiciary- Strongly Support
Another of our sponsored pieces of legislation for this session and we've given you the plan of action in previous updates. This bill will remove the necessity for a finding of a "good and substantial" reason for the issuance of a handgun permit and would make Maryland join the ranks of other shall-issue states. If you have not contacted the House Judiciary Committee and urged their support, please do so now. Be sure to contact Chairman Vallario and insist on a vote on this common sense bill that would bring Maryland into alignment with the majority of the United States.

Hearing Date - ??
SB420 - Burglary and Crimes of Violence - Civil Immunity - Senate Judicial - Strongly Support
No hearing date as of yet. This is the companion bill to HB332 and this hearing and your efforts leading up to it will be a major hurdle in the advancement of this legislation. Chairman Brian Frosh has allowed his personal bias to interfere with his responsibilities to the people of Maryland and not allowed a hearing or a vote on this bill, which passed the House last year 136-0. Maximum effort should be expended on ensuring that the Chairman allows a hearing and we ask that you respectfully remind Senator Frosh that his responsibility is to the people of Maryland and not the criminals that victimize our fellow citizens.


2. Tools for contacting your elected officials

HOUSE OF DELEGATES TOOLS TO ASSIST YOU:
Quick email tool
Find your delegate
Pre-formatted mailing labels for the House Judiciary Committee
How to create mail merge letters using pre-formatted labels


SENATE TOOLS TO ASSIST YOU:
Quick email tool
Find your delegate
Pre-formatted mailing labels for the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committe
How to create mail merge letters using pre-formatted labels

Senator Brian Frosh
Miller Senate Office Building, 2 East Wing
11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3124, (301) 858-3124
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3124 (toll free)
e-mail: brian.frosh@senate.state.md.us
fax: (410) 841-3102, (301) 858-3102

3. Coming to hearings in Annapolis
Some people find the process of coming to Annapolis and to the hearings somewhat intimidating as there are lots of questions related to the process. Here are some tips for making the trek.

1. Parking is at the Navy/Marine Corps stadium (exit 24 off RT 50) and is cheap. Plan your arrival to be at the hearings by Noon.
2. Catch the shuttle and ask the driver to let you off at the House or Senate Office Buildings, respectively.
3. Pass through security with a photo ID. Leave any knives, multi-tools, etc at home.
4. Go to hearing room and stake your claim for a seat.
5. If submitting written testimony, you will need 35 copies for the House, 20 for the Senate and it must be submitted by 11:00am.
6. Dress is business or business casual. Let's make a good impression by not playing into the stereotypes that they expect.
7. Sign up sheets for testifying are inside the hearing room. Sign up to register your opinion, even if you don't plan to speak.
8. Typically, the folks representing you from the gun groups speak first as they have a coordinated plan of testimony.
9. Be concise, polite, and stay on a single topic. If the day is getting long, it's OK just to say "I support/oppose this bill".

•Attending a hearing
•Map of the area
•Security information and procedues


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."