Maryland Shall Issue (MSI) has announced support for HB-9, currently pending before the House Judiciary Committee in the Maryland General Assembly. The legislation is being sponsored by Delegate Michael Smigiel (R-36, Caroline, Cecil, Kent & Queen Anne’s Counties).

HB-9 would specify that a license to carry a regulated firearm, including a concealed regulated firearm, issued to an individual by Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Virginia would be valid in Maryland. Maryland does not currently recognize the handgun permits of any other state.

“The states of Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia have recognized the rights and competency of their residents who have passed the background checks, including mental health screening, and met the training requirements in order to be issued these permits,” says MSI President Paul Dembowski.

Dembowski also says, “In a time of dire fiscal crisis, Maryland would be wise to do everything possible to promote tourism between our neighboring states.”

The president of the grassroots group notes that Maryland’s violent crime rate is disproportionately higher than that of its neighbors despite the state’s overly restrictive gun laws and where permits to lawfully carry a handgun are almost always denied. He goes on to say, “Many residents of our neighboring states choose to spend their money by visiting the approximately 40 other states that, unlike Maryland, allow them the means to protect themselves and their families. Maryland’s violent crime rate, coupled with the restriction on the right to self-defense, dissuades many of our neighbors from visiting here.”

Delegate Smigiel, who previously sponsored the bill in 2010, adds, “The Constitution is clear that Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. The states named in my legislation recognize this by allowing these citizens to exercise that right. This bill will acknowledge that right in Maryland just as it is in their home states.”

The legislation was heard by the House Judiciary Committee on January 25 and is awaiting a vote in that same committee.

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Maryland Shall Issue (MSI) has announced support for HB-9, currently pending before the House…