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MD – GUN POLITICS – Maryland Bill Would Ban Firearms at Election Sites

A bill banning firearms at polling sites in Maryland is advancing in the state Legislature, and advocates say it is necessary to stop voter intimidation. “Everyone should be able to vote free from fear and intimidation,” Senate bill lead sponsor Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, D-Montgomery, said at a Feb. 4 committee hearing Capital News Service viewed. “And that is especially true during these polarizing times.” If passed, SB10, which is cross-filed in the House of Delegates as HB450, would prohibit a person from carrying or possessing a firearm within 100 feet of a polling site during an election, with some exceptions, beginning October 2021. On-duty law enforcement officers, or officers who are reporting to or leaving duty, would be exempt from this law, as well as off-duty officers who wear a badge and conceal-carry. The bill states that a person who violates without knowing it is illegal would, “face a civil penalty and have the matter adjudicated under provisions that allow for a penalty of up to $5,000.”

Waldstreicher argued during the hearing that similar legislation has been passed in both Democratic- and Republican-majority states — including Texas, a state that is typically pro-Second Amendment and has open-carry gun laws. [full article]

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