I wrote to Maryland Delegate Michael Smigiel, asking for his support on HB-9: "Regulated Firearms - License Issued by Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Virginia - Reciprocity", and this was his reply:
Thank you for your note regarding House Bill 9- “Regulated Firearms - License Issued by Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Virginia - Reciprocity”. Please know that I am a staunch advocate for support of the Second Amendment. I will continue support any bill seeking to protect our Constitutional right to bear arms and will oppose all that seek to limit our rights under the Second Amendment..
The hearing for HB 9 was held on Tuesday January, 25 in the House Judiciary Committee. Citizens came out from all over Maryland to testify in support of Concealed Carry Reciprocity in front of the Judiciary Committee. Testimony was also given by the law abiding citizens of Maryland’s contiguous states who have concealed carry permits and would benefit from this bill along with Maryland’s own citizens.
The opposition came from the Maryland State Police and the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney. Their testimony consisted of comparing the procedures for receiving a Concealed Carry permit in Maryland to the surrounding states. The wrongly argued that other states are more lax in granting permits to carry and thus Maryland should reject reciprocity.
As you may be aware, I have spent a long time trying to get the board who oversees these permits to tell us what, exactly, the standard is for who receives a permit to carry. Currently in Maryland, the law says that a citizen must have a “good and substantial reason” to obtain a Concealed Carry permit. When I asked the representative from the Maryland State Police what precisely the definition of “good and substantial reason’ was, he replied, “There is no definition.” It is my contention that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is a “good and substantial reason” to be approved for a permit.
Currently, Delegate Vallario has not brought HB 9 up for a committee vote. I have asked Chairman Vallario why he will not let the bill out for a vote by the committee and he has told me it is because he knows I have the votes in committee to get it to the floor.
I began collecting signatures in support of the bill on a petition to floor which would by pass a committee vote and allow the bill to go directly to the House floor. However, prior to completing the list, I was told by Senator Frosh, that if the bill were to pass the House, he would kill the bill when it got to Judicial Proceedings Committee in the Senate, where he is the Chairman.
Therefore, I am not planning on petitioning the bill out of my committee because I do not want the Democrats who have come forward and supported our efforts to force a vote on the bill to be punished unnecessarily and we know that even if the bill were to get out for a vote, Senator Frosh will kill the bill as soon as it hits his committee.
I will continue to work for the right to carry in Maryland and for reciprocity. I had a productive meeting with the Maryland State Police and next year will work on establishing a more second amendment friendly definition of “good and substantial reason” to carry. I would be glad to discuss one on one with anyone who has questions but do not wish to give up all our strategies prior to having an opportunity to try them. I thank you for your support of our Second Amendment. If I can ever answer any specific questions you may have please ask, you can always reach me by cell phone, 24/7 at 410-920-0128.
Yours in public service,
Delegate Michael D. Smigiel, Sr
District 36-Upper Shore
Session Office: 410-841-3555
District Office: 410-392-5815
So, Vallario won't let the bill be voted on because he knows it will pass. Does Vallario not understand the purpose of voting? How is this democracy?