Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Time for MD To Pass Common Sense Gun Bills

You may or may not be aware, but recently in the General Assembly this session HB1060 was unanimously passed, the so-called castle doctrine bill. We had a UNANIMOUS vote on a self-defense bill that would have allowed you to have protection in the event that you injured or killed an intruder in your home.

Currently, you have no guarantee of protection from civil suit. Imagine that....a crack addict busts down your door one night and you shoot him in self-defense. You won't be criminally prosecuted, but you are wide open to a law suit from his family.

"He was a good boy, just mixed up"
"He was trying to kick drugs"
"He never beat on his kids like some people"
"This gun nut was looking for someone to kill"

You've seen the stories in the last few weeks.

So....the bill unanimously passes the house and crosses over to the Senate and never sees the light of day.

How is that?

Senator Brian Frosh, the judicial committee chair, took the bill and stuffed it "in the drawer" meaning that he unilaterally decided that the bill would never be heard in committee much less be sent to the full senate for consideration.

This gives Frosh more power to veto than even the governor, because a gubernatorial veto can be over ridden by 2/3 of the general assembly.

YOUR delegate voted in favor of this bill, and most likely your senator would have too. This means that we got a self-defense bill past the delegation from PG, MoCo, HoCo and Baltimore City.

Did I mention that he did the same thing in 2004 and 2006?

How can one man over ride the will of the entire general assembly?

And from the Maryland Shall Issue folks:

The End of Democracy? Asks Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.

ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 9, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Henry Heymering, President of Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.:

HB-1060 is a "Castle Doctrine" type bill. It would have provided immunity from civil suits brought by someone who was injured or killed after illegally entering your home and then committing or attempting to commit an additional crime.

Your Maryland Delegates, unanimously (136 - 0), voted for HB-1060.However, Senator Frosh single-handedly blocked the bill by not allowing a vote in committee -- a "desk drawer veto." Is this democracy? If your Delegates are representing your concerns, and it appears they are, then Senator Frosh is not. One has to wonder if this is because Senator Frosh's law firm specializes in personal injury claims, or simply that he chooses to push his personal views on self-defense in direct opposition to the vast majority of Marylanders.

Henry Heymering, President of Maryland Shall Issue, notes this is not the first time Senator Frosh has abused his power as Chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to impose his personal interests over the wishes of the representatives of the entire state. In fact this is the third time that Senator Frosh has blocked this very same bill which has now passed the House floor unanimously on three separate occasions -- 2004 (HB-1463), 2005 (HB-646) and now 2008.

What kind of a government is it that puts more veto power in the hands of a committee chair than in the hands of the governor? What kind of a legislator uses this power for his personal interests rather than the people he is supposed to represent?

SOURCE Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.The End of Democracy? Asks Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.

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