If you live in Maryland, your Governor has some big changes in store. You need to make your voices heard. You can e-mail the governor here. If you do nothing, you will have no one to blame but yourself. Take fifteen minutes and write Governor O’Malley a direct, well thought out letter. If you see this link, there are already eight Bills submitted in various stages of the process. Most are going through hearings now. Make sure you educate yourself on what is happening. I did find the link to contact the Maryland district legislators, if you click here, it will ask you your address and zip code and then will allow you to contact the people you represent you. Below you will see the general plan that Governor O’Malley has for your state.
Gun Control Plans
Assault Weapons Ban Maryland currently bans only 15 enumerated assault pistols, but allows for the sale and possession of high-capacity, military-style assault weapons designed for the greatest human carnage. This legislation would establish a ban on all assault weapons, with a focus on the features that enhance a weapon’s lethality.
Magazine Capacity Limitation This proposal would reduce the allowable magazine capacity from 20 rounds to 10.
Licensing This proposal would require a license for every handgun purchase with age restrictions; mandatory safety training requirements; mandatory fingerprinting; and an attestation that a person is not prohibited, with a waiver for a full background check. While respecting an individual’s right to protect one’s self and one’s family with a handgun, this common sense proposal also recognizes the need for accuracy in identification and the need for weapons familiarization and safety training prior to purchase. Note: the Administration’s licensing plan will carve-out hunting rifles and shotguns from this requirement.
Statewide DNA Data Base System – Repeal of Sunset
Since January 2009, there have been 220 arrested/charged offender DNA hits that have resulted in 73 arrests and 42 convictions. There are currently 71 open DNA hit cases including 27 confirmed active investigations as of January 1, 2013. This proposal removes the sunset provision, which is effective December 31, 2013.
Strengthen Existing Law Prohibiting Possession This proposal would strengthen existing Maryland law, which now prohibits possession if a person “suffers from a mental disorder … and has a history of violent behavior” by adding: (1) individuals currently under guardianship protection due to an inability to care for themselves or manage their own affairs; and (2) individuals civilly committed if the judge makes a determination that the individual cannot safely possess based on credible evidence of danger to others.
Restricting Ammunition Possession Persons prohibited from possession of regulated firearms can still legally obtain ammunition. This proposal makes it a crime for prohibited persons to possess ammunition for weapons they cannot legally possess.
Registering Weapons from Other States Maryland law currently only requires registration for weapons obtained in Maryland. There is no registration requirement for persons who move into Maryland with their weapons. This proposal requires that persons who move into the State
register their guns within a certain time frame.
Automating Gun Application Process The way a person buys a gun is by submitting an application to a dealer, who submits the application to MSP for a records check. Under current law, gun dealers have the option of sending applications to MSP by means of certified mail, fax OR automated means. This proposal mandates automation, which will streamline the process and ensure greater accuracy.
School Safety Plans
Enhance School Security The Governor’s FY14 budget proposal dedicates $25 million of school construction dollars to school security enhancements. Initiatives will include cameras at entrances, automatically locking doors, shatterproof glass, and buzzer entrance systems. Note: The Administration has provided funding for this competitive grant proposal in the FY14 budget.
Establish a Maryland Center for School Safety To be located at Maryland’s fusion center, a partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, the Center would work with all public school and law enforcement stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive approach to school safety, including disseminating information on best practices, providing training and technical assistance, and gathering meaningful data on school safety issues. Note: The Administration has provided funding for this competitive grant proposal in the FY14 budget.
K-12 Emergency Plan Review This initiative directs the Maryland State Department of Education, working with the State Police (MSP), to review all school district emergency plans to identify gaps (including any in educator training, planning and drills, and auditing of plans), and revise statewide regulations to close those gaps.
Higher Education Emergency Plan Review This initiative directs the Maryland Higher Education Commission, working with the State Police (MSP), to review the emergency plans of higher education institutions and address safety issues with institutional presidents.
Mental Health Changes
Data Sharing This proposal would provide consistency between the data available to state and federal law enforcement officials for background checks. The goal is to ensure that state law enforcement officials and federal officials have the same data available to them.
Mental Health Treatment Through policy and budgetary initiatives, the Administration will improve the delivery of mental health services in Maryland and provide for earlier intervention to reduce the potential for violent behavior. Those initiatives include:
(i) Expanding crisis intervention teams, which include trained police officers and mental health professionals who together respond to mental health emergencies, with the goal of preventing or diffusing dangerous or threatening emergencies involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis in the community; and
(ii) Expanding crisis response services, which offer crisis and referral service hotlines; mobile crisis teams; trauma and critical incident response; emergency respite; emergency department and detention center diversion programs; care coordination and stabilization; and referrals to long-term services and resources.
(iii) Establishing a Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness, which will advance understanding of effective early intervention; program components will include evaluations and treatment, telephone consultations with primary care and other clinicians a hot line for the affected individual or their family, and an education program to increase awareness of warning signs of clinical high risk mental states, manifestations of psychosis, and referral mechanisms.
Establish a DHMH-led Task Force to Improve Continuity of Care for Individuals in the Community Mental Health System A risk factor for poor outcomes and, in some cases, potential violence, is disruption of effective outpatient mental health treatment. The task force will review Maryland law and practice to identify ways to strengthen access and adherence to treatment to improve health outcomes and reduce the potential for violent behavior.