After a barrage of calls and emails from concerned Free State shooters, Maryland’s HB 579, which required vaguely described though mandatory training courses for retired state law enforcement officers who wish to own a handgun for self-defense, died a quiet death yesterday in the Maryland state Senate.
Ironically, this legislation started its life out as an exemption for police officers and other members of law enforcement who want to keep their sidearm on their hip into their golden years, simply requiring that police follow state law and only have to take a 30 minute on-line safety course to purchase a gun as a civilian. However, the bill was hijacked in Congress and heavily rewritten last week by Senator Brian Frosh. In its second incarnation, the legislation now explicitly mandated full training courses for retired cops (who, also ironically, are the very same folks who will likely be teaching these courses).
Beyond this, the revisions seem to be a direct response to the Woollard Decision being used in a recent ruling by the State’s supreme court that deemed Maryland’s current concealed carry system unconstitutional. The added language also required that Marylanders pay for an undefined training course before they fill out an application for a concealed carry permit—placing the financial burden on the would be shooter. Frosh wrote:
“The Frosh amendment specifically placed the financial burden for the cost of the training course on the applicant.”
Prompting a the presiding judge to write:
“This discriminate against low income citizens and minorities making it totally unacceptable.”