Maryland Senators passed a bill on Friday furthering the state’s prohibitions against law-abiding citizens being armed for self-defense on college and university campuses.
The bill, which bars law-abiding citizens “from knowingly possessing a firearm on a public college campus in Maryland,” passed the Senate by a vote of 27-20.
Herald Mail Media reports that Maryland already has laws against the possession of “a deadly weapon of any kind on public school property,” but violations of that law are misdemeanors. The new law–which just passed in the Senate–ups the penalty to a felony, further discouraging law-abiding citizens from being armed for self-defense when on campus.
The new law makes exceptions for police officers and stipulates certain conditions in which retired officers and off-duty police can carry too. Security guards hired by a school would also be able to carry.
State Senator George Edwards (R-Washington/Allegany/Garret) spoke in opposition to the bill, saying, “I think it’s just a further step in trying to take guns away from people in the state of Maryland, and I think each campus ought to be able to do their own thing. … I don’t think it should be dictated ‘one size fits all.'”
It is interesting to note that California lawmakers passed a ban on campus carry in October 2015. Democrats who pushed the ban could not point to one incident where an armed law-abiding citizen took part in a crime or disturbance, yet Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed the ban into law. Since that time, California Democrats have steadily continued to chip away at Second Amendment rights, instituting a ban on “high capacity” magazines, expanding their state “assault weapons” ban, and instituting background checks for ammunition purchases.
In short, California Democrats corralled law-abiding gun owners and are now incrementally limiting their ability to exercise Second Amendment rights. Maryland Senator Edwards worries that efforts to bar law-abiding students from being armed for self-defense in his state are part of a larger war on guns as well.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.