- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
Maryland senator calls for gun training and off-limits locations
ANNAPOLIS — Responding to a court decision that could scrap the state law requiring concealed-carry permit applicants to provide “good and substantial reason” for needing firearms, a Baltimore lawmaker wants to require handgun owners to complete a training course.
Sen. William C. Ferguson IV, a Democrat, introduced a bill Thursday that would require the training and prohibit permit holders from carrying guns in places like churches, bars and movie theaters.
He said the bill is aimed at ensuring permit holders are responsible arms owners. An April U.S. District Court ruling could increase availability of state gun permits by removing the requirement for applicants to prove they need a gun for work or protection from a specific documented threat.
The ruling is currently shelved until the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case in October.
“I think gun advocates and folks in favor of gun control should both agree that if you’re going to carry a gun and it’s concealed, you certainly should be trained with it beforehand,” he said.
Maryland law does not currently require handgun-permit applicants to get training. The bill would require applicants to complete training six months before requesting a permit, but would exempt law enforcement and military members.
Mr. Ferguson’s bill is unlikely to pass during the special session, which is expected to end Tuesday and will focus almost entirely on bills to expand gambling and protect pit bull owners.
The senator said he hopes to at least start a discussion that could lead to a work group on the issue this fall and legislation next year.
Delegate Michael D. Smigiel Sr., Cecil Republican, said there has been bipartisan interest in requiring handgun training if the district court ruling is upheld. However, Mr. Smigiel has some issues with Mr. Ferguson’s bill and is expected to submit his own version on Friday.
Mr. Smigiel said he is not opposed to requiring training, but is concerned the senator’s bill could force applicants to go through police-conducted courses rather than private ones run by groups like the National Rifle Association.
He also criticized restricting permit holders from carrying guns in places such as churches and movie theaters.
He pointed to recent mass shootings in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater and a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and argued that lawmakers would be better off allowing responsible owners to carry guns that could help them subdue gunmen in such places rather than forcing them to go in unarmed.
“It shows a real misunderstanding of the need to carry,” Mr. Smigiel said. “What you’re doing is asking that it be left in the car, and the number one place where firearms are stolen is from cars.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Md. drivers could face eventual doubling of gas tax
- Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law
- Md. bill would end student suspensions for mimicking gun behavior
- Maryland Senate passes bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell assailed on transportation
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Arrest made in Ohio bar shooting that killed 3
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again