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Gun Rights: Restore & Protect, Not Infringe

I'm a Pro-Second Amendment Marine. 
I'm a Pro-Second Amendment American. 
I own firearms and my wife and daughters are trained to use them responsibly. 
I believe in our Constitution and in our God-given rights, one of which is to defend ourselves and our loved ones from enemies - both foreign and domestic.

I also believe the government has no right to remove or infringe our right to keep and bear arms by making it nearly impossible for law-abiding citizens to responsibly carry a firearm or obtain a conceal-carry weapon permit, if they choose to do so. Both Ken and I received an "A" rating from the NRA in our respective Congressional bids in 2010 and 2012. 

I'm disappointed that the O'Malley Administration and our legislature enacted the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (formerly SB-281).  In fact, I publicly spoke out against this law before it was passed at a number of 2nd Amendment Gun Rights rallies in Annapolis.

The only people this law protects are the hardened criminals who will ignore it, while it infringes – unconstitutionally, I believe - the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Maryland citizens.

This is an example of a tendency in Annapolis to pass laws that "hurt Maryland first" instead of solving a problem.  It's absurd to think that criminals will use state-licensed firearm stores to purchase weapons they intend to use to commit crimes.  It's just as absurd to think that law-abiding citizens are safer by limiting the magazine capacity of guns purchased in Maryland when there is no correlation of magazine size to so-called gun violence. 

It's time to stop treating responsible Maryland gun owners like criminals.

A NEW WAY FORWARD:

As governor,

  • I will propose legislation to REPEAL Maryland's Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (formerly, SB-281) if the courts do not invalidate it beforehand, to restore Second Amendment rights to Marylanders.
 
  • I will propose legislation to make Maryland a "shall-issue" conceal-carry permit state.
 
  • We need to work harder to prevent individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution from obtaining firearms. If we can stop dangerous people from boarding a plane, we can overcome the legal challenges to prevent people with a serious mental illness from purchasing a weapon anywhere in the United States.
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  • I will propose legislation that will allow federally-licensed firearms dealers to initiate background checks, as required by federal law, through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and forward the results to the Maryland State Police. I will also propose legislation to eliminate additional Maryland-only checks and waiting periods that in some instances have allowed firearms to be released to prohibited persons because of the inordinate delay caused by the backlog at the Maryland State Police.
  •  I will order the Maryland State Police to purge all information currently gathered for background checks as soon as those background checks have been successfully completed.
  • I strongly oppose all efforts to create a registry of gun owners, or of weapons, at a state or federal level. The identity of legal gun owners as well as those ineligible to possess a firearm in Maryland should be maintained in the strictest of confidence.
 
  • I will continue to ensure that individuals convicted of violent crimes are NOT permitted access to firearms.
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