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Maryland gun owners dodged a figurative bullet recently, for now, with the withdrawal of HB 1261. That piece of work, dubbed “Weapon Crimes – Assault Long Guns and Copycat Weapons,” contained nasty consequences. Chief among concerns, the bill contained language to ban more firearms. It also would require gun owners pay heavy taxes to register guns they already own.

Assault Weapon Registration Bill

NRA-ILA put out a warning to members:

House Bill 1261, sponsored by Speaker Adrienne Jones and Delegates Eric Luedtke and Vanessa Atterbeary, significantly expands the number of firearms that are subject to Maryland’s already extreme prohibition on so-called “assault” firearms.  This includes some of the most popular and commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns in existence.  Further, those who currently possess any of the covered firearms would need to register their guns, facing increasingly steep fees to do so.  Gun owners would be expected to pay upwards of $1,000 per gun to register their firearms.  This outrageous bill, and extreme taxation, was another attempt to prevent law-abiding gun owners from being able to engage in self-defense by making it unaffordable.

The tax served as a de facto registry of firearms. The bill included language that required registration fees of $290, $580, or an insane $1,000 per firearm per gun. The rate increased depending on the date of the “voluntary” registration.

Yes, the Assault Weapon Registration Bill failed, for now. More alarmingly, this is the evolution of the Bloomberg gun control initiative. It will continue to play out in every state Everytown for Gun Safety and similar groups can gain traction. In states like Virginia and Maryland, this is the new normal. It further shows the importance of every state election, along with the undeniable importance of the upcoming Presidential election. Election 2020 is shaping up to be Gun Election 2020. And the Second Amendment may be the leading issue come November.

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