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Senate Bill 281

Senate Bill 281

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Published by wmarabc2news
Firearms Safety Act
Firearms Safety Act

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Published by: wmarabc2news on Apr 02, 2013
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SB 281Department of Legislative Services
Maryland General Assembly2013 Session
Senate Bill 281 (The President,
et al.
) (By Request - Administration)Judicial Proceedings Judiciary and Health and GovernmentOperations
Firearm Safety Act of 2013
This Administration bill significantly modifies and expands the regulation of firearms,firearms dealers, and ammunition in the State and makes significant changes to relatedmental health restrictions on the possession of firearms.
Fiscal Summary
State Effect:
General fund revenues increase by $2.2 million in FY 2014 from handgunqualification licensing fees and voluntary registrations of other firearms. Out-year revenues reflect the anticipated growth in handgun licenses issued and a decrease involuntary registrations of other firearms. General fund expenditures increase by$3.4 million for licensing and registration, programming, and other activities withinseveral agencies. Out-year costs reflect annualization and inflation. SupplementalBudget No. 1 contains $4.6 million in general funds, contingent upon enactment of this bill, for the Department of State Police (DSP) to implement this bill and to support theGun Center. The criminal and civil penalty provisions of this bill should not have asignificant impact on State finances or operations.
(in dollars) FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018GF Revenue $2,221,300 $2,104,500 $2,109,900 $2,181,500 $2,298,200GF Expenditure $3,370,600 $2,338,800 $2,442,500 $2,749,600 $2,664,600 Net Effect ($1,149,300) ($234,400) ($332,600) ($568,000) ($366,500)
Note:() = decrease; GF = general funds; FF = federal funds; SF = special funds; - = indeterminate effect 
Local Effect:
Minimal. Primary responsibility for enforcement is with DSP. Anycoordination with local government police agencies is assumed to be handled withexisting local resources.
SB 281/ Page 2
Small Business Effect:
The Administration has determined that this bill has ameaningful impact on small business (attached). The Department of Legislative Servicesconcurs with this assessment. (The attached assessment does not reflect amendments tothe bill.)
Bill Summary:
 Assault Weapons
The bill applies the scope of current assault pistol prohibitions to all assault weapons.
The bill adds a definition of “assault weapon” to apply to “assault long guns,” and to“copycat weapons.” An assault long gun is defined as being on the list of 45 regulated
firearms that are not handguns under current law provisions of the Public Safety Article.A copycat weapon is defined as specified semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns, as
well as shotguns with a revolving cylinder. The definition of a copycat weapon “does notinclude an assault long gun or assault pistol.”
 The bill allows a person who lawfully possessed an assault long gun or a copycat weapon before October 1, 2013, and who registers the weapon with the Secretary of State Police
January 1, 2014, to continue to possess and transport the assault long gun or copycat weapon or, if carrying a court order requiring surrender of the weapon, transportthe unloaded weapon directly to a law enforcement unit, having notified the unit of thetransport. A person who purchased an assault long gun or copycat weapon beforeOctober 1, 2013, and registered it with the Secretary of State Police is not required toreregister the weapon. A number of specified persons and circumstances are exemptedfrom the current law prohibitions related to the possession of assault weapons, asamended by the bill.A person who voluntarily registers an assault long gun or a copycat weapon
 January 1, 2014, is subject to the following penalties rather than existing specifiedcriminal penalties:
 before May 1, 2014, a civil penalty not exceeding $290 per registered firearm;
on or after May 1, 2014, and before November 1, 2015, a civil penalty notexceeding $580 per registered firearm; and
on or after November 1, 2015, and before May 1, 2016, a civil penalty notexceeding $1,000 per registered firearm.
SB 281/ Page 3
A person who lawfully possessed an assault long gun or a copycat weapon beforeOctober 1, 2013, and who registers the weapon on or after January 1, 2014, only after  being discovered in possession of the assault long gun or copycat weapon by a lawenforcement officer, is not subject to specified current law criminal penalties, but isguilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a maximum imprisonment of one year for eachincident in which the person is discovered with unregistered firearms.
 The bill modifies exceptions to the prohibition against wearing, carrying, or transportinghandguns without a State permit by eliminating the active assignment requirement from being applicable to federal, State, or local law enforcement personnel; certain military personnel; out-of-state law enforcement personnel temporarily in Maryland on official business; and State correctional officers and wardens.The bill also creates a new licensing scheme for handguns under the licensing authority
of DSP. A “handgun qualification license” authorizes a person to purchase, rent, or 
receive a handgun. A licensed firearms manufacturer, a specified active or retired lawenforcement officer, and a member or retired member of the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard, are exempt from the requirements of the licensing provisions. Unlessexempt, the licensing provisions prohibit a person from purchasing, renting, or receivinga handgun without such a license issued by the Secretary of State Police or if prohibitedfrom purchasing or possessing a handgun under State or federal law. The Secretary of State Police is also required to apply for a State and national criminal history recordscheck for each applicant. As part of the application for a criminal history records check,the Secretary must submit one complete set of fingerprints.The application fee for a handgun qualification license is to cover administrative costsand may be up to $25. The term of the license is 10 years. License renewal fees are setat up to $20. The bill delineates the identifying information and documentation that arerequired for the issuance of the license. Among other things, the application must alsohave a signed statement from the applicant, under penalty of perjury, that the applicant isnot prohibited under federal or State law to possess a handgun. The applicant must alsoshow proof of completion of an approved firearms safety training course. An applicant isnot required to complete an approved firearms safety training course if the applicant iscurrently a certified firearms instructor, as specified, is an honorably discharged member of the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard, or is a certain employee of an armoredcar company. Renewal applicants are not required to complete the firearms safetytraining course or submit to a State and national criminal history records check.The bill requires written approval or denial by DSP, as specified, within 30 days. The bill details the required approval and denial processes, and provides specified license

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