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Lawmakers consider change to concealed weapons permits: Frederick News Post Article

July 23, 2011

Author’s Note:

Call me crazy or call me sane. Either way, based on my personal experience, Jenkins is crazy for thinking he should be able to take over gun permitting responsibility from the Maryland State Police. It was a sane decision made by the delegation to decline his self-imposed proposal.

Say, do you think this might be one of the reasons he let a convicted domestic violence felon “go” on nine alleged counts of felony gun possession? After all, if he can’t get public officials on board, he’ll just go right ahead and make his own laws. Jenkins might believe that he is a one-man judge and jury, but we’ll see who ends up in the proverbial hangman’s noose one of these days. Who wants to kick out his chair?

Let’s keep an eye on the media and see where this insane proposal goes from here. After all, he let a convicted domestic violence go. Does the public really want a man like this to take over gun permitting responsibilities from the Maryland State Police?

Stay tuned and see how this directly correlates with my own case as big media helps me to tell my story to the public.

Meanwhile, read this article in full right here on The Just Call Me Charley Blog and let your comments fly!

The Frederick News-Post Online – Frederick County Maryland Daily Newspaper.

Originally published January 26, 2011

By Meg Tully 
News-Post Staff 

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland could recognize other states’ rights to carry concealed weapons if legislation under consideration in the General Assembly is successful.It is also a move that would allow Maryland residents to procure a right-to-carry permit out of state.

The right-to-carry issue has recently drawn attention in Frederick County as the county’s- delegation of state lawmakers considered a proposal from Sheriff Chuck Jenkins to take over permitting responsibility from the Maryland State Police.

The delegation ultimately declined to sponsor the legislation, but members argued in favor of statewide reforms to the system.

Delegate Michael Smigiel, a Republican representing Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, suggested just such a reform on Tuesday. He argued at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee for a bill to require Maryland to recognize concealed weapons permits in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Delaware.

The bill would dramatically change gun rights for Maryland residents as well as those from out-of-state passing through. That is because some states, like Virginia, authorize concealed weapons permits for nonresidents.

For example, a Maryland resident unable to get a permit in Maryland could seek a nonresident permit in Virginia instead. The permit would also be valid in Maryland under the legislation.

Smigiel said he’s pursuing the bill because under state law now, Maryland residents have to have a “good and substantial” reason to receive a permit — something the Maryland State Police hasn’t defined.

He would like to change that system, but would face enormous hurdles on the House floor to pass the legislation. His bill is preferable, because the House has a rule limiting amendments to a single subject, he said, so it would be less likely to be watered down.

“The government does not give us the right, the Second Amendment, to carry,” Smigiel said. “It comes from God. That’s what Thomas Jefferson said, that’s what Monroe said. Those are inalienable rights.”

He said citizens should know state police are selective about permits and don’t issue them just because they are a constitutional right.

“I hope that is what the citizens get to see and come forward and say we should have these rights. They are in the Constitution, all the rights,” he said.

Last year, a similar bill was voted on by the House Judiciary Committee and was killed in an 11-10 vote.

Chairman Joseph Vallario said he is not sure how the committee will treat the bill this year. Maryland has different standards for gun permits than other states, so that could pose a problem, he said.

“Ours says you have to have a reasonable basis on which to have a permit, and that’s different from any other law,” Vallario said. “So it’s probably going to have a tough time in this committee.”

The Maryland State Police also oppose the legislation because of the disparities in permitting processes. Additionally, police do not have direct access to state databases from Delaware, Pennsylvania or Virginia to verify handgun permits, they said.

That would be a concern to Delegate Galen Clagett, a Frederick County Democrat. He said he would want to know if the state could verify that people visiting from other states had valid permits. He also said he does not want Maryland residents to be permitted by states other than Maryland.

“I would consider it, but I really don’t like it,” Clagett said. “If you talk to any policeman, they’re going to say, the more people we arm, the more trouble they have.”

But the proposal is popular with Delegate Michael Hough, a Frederick County Republican who sits on the Judiciary Committee. Hough lives in Brunswick and said he believes people driving through from nearby Virginia, located just across the river, should be able to bring their guns with them. He supports people’s right to carry, and that Maryland residents could use nonresident handgun permits from Virginia in their home state.

He criticized the current system, which could deny even former police officers from getting hand gun permits.

“I think it’s putting gun control ideology in front of what’s good policy,” Hough said.

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