ANNAPOLIS — A proposed law that would require many concealed carry permit holders of handguns to complete two days of training annually was met with heavy opposition at a Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee meeting this past week.

Sen. Ron Young (D-Frederick), the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 422, introduced the bill, which would require those permit holders to complete courses on “situational awareness” and “competent handling of a firearm,” approved by the secretary of Maryland State Police. The bill exempts law enforcement officers and qualified handgun instructors.

At the bill’s hearing at Thursday’s Judicial Proceedings meeting, several people testified they didn’t think the government should require further training for a concealed carry permit. That included David Weber, a state director with the National Rifle Association.

“Yes, the NRA supports training and extensive training. … What the NRA does not support is government-mandated training,” Weber said. “To us, this is a constitutional right. One should be able to possess their firearms for defense without mandated training.”

Mike Doherty, chairman of the board of the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, expressed a similar view.

“We recommend all of our members get training courses, we recommend that all people should be trained on a regular enough basis,” Doherty said. “If the government is going to mandate a training course requirement, the government needs to provide that training to the taxpayers.”

Doherty and others who testified noted that would be costly. A fiscal and policy note attached to Young’s bill shows that Maryland State Police estimated Young’s bill would cost just over $600,000 to fund in fiscal 2021.

But Young disagreed with that in an interview Friday. He said Maryland State Police issued a high number to the Department of Legislative Services in order to help discourage support for his legislation.

At one point in Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Justin Ready (R-Carroll) proposed a compromise: He would vote for Young’s bill if handgun permits could be issued to anybody who wanted one for self-defense.

“I think it’s a great way to have people practice their Second Amendment rights and defend themselves and their property, but there’s accountability for training,” Ready said.

But Young said Friday he wasn’t interested in broadening the definition of who could get a concealed carry permit.

“I’m not a supporter of everybody carrying guns. I think we’re going back to [the] Wild West days. ... It opens it to everybody carrying a concealed weapon, and I don’t think that’s a good policy,” he said.

Sen. Michael Hough (R-Frederick and Carroll), however, thought Ready’s proposal was good, especially if it would make Maryland a “shall issue” state for concealed carry permits. That would essentially make it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain those permits, he said.

“It would basically be a burden on armored car carriers and security personnel, people who are required to carry a firearm as part of their job requirement,” Hough added Friday about why he opposed Young’s bill.

Young’s proposal did have some local support. Joe Vince, a professor in the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Human Services at Mount St. Mary’s University, submitted written testimony arguing why Young’s proposal was needed.

In that testimony, he referenced a 2015 study he co-authored with two other Mount St. Mary’s professors, which concluded that there should be mandated training for concealed carry permits.

“Our findings point to the importance of experience and skill level as they relate to how stressful and difficult the encounters are perceived,” the study states regarding situations where handguns and firearms might be used. “Those with more training and experience are better able to remain focused and to later describe the encounter in less emotional and more clinical terms.”

Vince said he disagreed with those who testified Thursday that there wasn’t a need for mandated training.

“It has to be mandated, it has to be across the board,” said Vince, a former chief of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Gun Analysis Branch. “If you’re going to carry a firearm, it’s a deadly weapon. ... Having people not trained is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Young’s bill awaits a decision from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee before possibly reaching the floor for a second reading.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(28) comments

ramrodd

Publius Huldah Powerful Speech:

All Federal and State Gun Control Is Unlawful

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn6UJbDm2-c

ramrodd

State concealed carry laws which require a "permit" is an idea crafted in the pits of h ell. The real purpose is to register gun owners! People think it is so cool to have a permit for concealed carry - they don't understand that it is like the free sample of heroin.

Publius Huldah Powerful Speech: All Federal and State Gun Control Is Unlawful

jth7100

I would probably consider carrying a concealed gun if I didn’t already feel like a man.

DickD

The bill needs to be modified so after the first two days of training the only additional requirement is a form to be filled out and returned within 30 days.

corgikid

Our town idiot proposing another idiotic idea to overly burden the patriots of Frederick County and the State of Maryland. Hold your breathe Marylanders, the State Assembly is still in session for several more weeks. That is enough time to pass a lot of laws that will cost us our time, money, and freedom.

public-redux

This idea is as dumb as thinking Voter ID will reduce voter fraud.

DickD

[lol] I think you are right, Gladys.

Kafir al-Amriki

First, West Virginia is a Shall Issue conceal carry state since 2016 (they also are open carry), and they're faring just fine. IMO Maryland should be a Shall Issue state as well. I don't even have a problem with the 2 day class, if it were only initially. Twice a year is ridiculous. Why not require car drivers to take an annual 2 day recertification?

Frayou

So where are the statistics to suggest this proposed legislation is additionally needed? Will it help with the chronic shooting and deaths witnessed In cities such as Baltimore? Amazing how politicians repeatedly want to create more gun regulations for the law abiding citizens who own firearms rather than concentration energies on how to control criminal behaviors involving firearms.

FCPS-Principal

A measly two days of training before allowing some unknown person to carry a concealed gun?? Start thinking two weeks or a month. And more importantly, a thorough background check. And I mean thorough. None of this 30-second local arrest check. Before anyone be allowed to carry a hidden loaded gun, they should undergo a psychological evaluation too. I want to know where they have lived for the last 10 years, what their family thinks of them, their co-workers, their ex's, what foreign contacts they have had, what their credit report shows, what their financial history is, and most importantly what their employment record is. All of these factors are need to build the state-of-mind profile of the individual to make sure he or she will handle their granted trust responsibly. Only then do we allow a person to just show up and acquire a permit to become a potential threat to everyone around him or her. There are too many unstable nuts acquiring guns and running around shooting people.

Kafir al-Amriki

West Virginia is a Shall Issue state, and are faring just fine.

shiftless88

Sure; they are dying by overdose instead of homicide.

KR999

So? The article is about CC permits, not drugs.

MD1756

Maybe you'd prefer living in Mexico with their stricter gun control and only one legal gun shop?

Lev928

FCPS-Principal is EXACTLY right. The existing mandated training is extremely weak and causes more problems related to unjustified shootings and subsequent litigation. It doesn't matter if you have a 2A right to own firearms. What matters is the use of them against another human being. A real world deadly use of force or firefight cannot be taught online or through a one day firearms course using static paper targets. Anyone that disagrees with this has never been through extensive firearms training or a real firefight. Being shot hurts. Being shot at sucks. A lot. Taking another human life with a firearm is NOT a good experience. The inevitable aftermath of civil and/or criminal proceedings is tremendous. There is no such thing as a simple self-defense argument. The U.S. Constitution does not provide your legal protection or fees during criminal or civil litigation. Just because you can legally OWN a firearm in no way qualifies you to use it, especially against another human being. Deer aren't armed nor do they shoot first. The argument carrying a concealed firearm, self defense, hunting and firearm ownership CANNOT be combined. Training for a deadly force encounter between humans is NECESSARY. Firearm ownership ideology based upon the 2A had become corrupted. All the whackos and gun rights advocates will make their idiotic comments, but they "have a right" blah blah blah. I guarantee NONE of them have extensive training or experience in firearms training or real-world deadly force encounters, much less the legal aspects. And yes, I'm very pro-2A, but I actually have three consistent decades of firearms training and real-world deadly force encounters.

tatt2ed

Lev.... "I guarantee NONE of them have extensive training or experience in firearms training or real-world deadly force encounters, much less the legal aspects."

I do, on all counts. Have you been shot? Have you used a firearm in a real world encounter? Again, both counts. As far as being shot at, I have to quantify that by what was being fired at me (handgun / rifle / semi / auto) I have more firearms training annually than most police forces. CQC, low light/no light / optics / IR illumination / flashlight methods / muzzle flash acquisition / off hand training / reloading with injury to primary hand/side....

And yes Lev, I, along with any other citizen, has the 2A right to own a firearm. BTW, I haven't hunted in years. When we arm deer, I'll consider returning to the sport, but for now, it just does nothing for me.

phydeaux994

Law enforcement Officers receive months of firearms training and still shoot innocent people. A civilian with little training cannot begin to say how they would react in a real confrontation. What situation would you likely encounter in your day to day life where you would need a hidden handgun. And open carry is ridiculous, you just invite someone to whack you over the head and take your gun. I would invite any of you to describe a situation in your life where you could have used your concealed firearm, except tattwoed of course who it evidently happens to frequently.

kauaicuda

clearly you dont know, dont have ANY idea how hard it is to obtain a concealed carry permit in Maryland. Its almost impossible. Almost nobody gets it.

Comment deleted.
Rockfish

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Comment deleted.
Thewheelone

Did you even read the article before your insulting rant, cd? What the heck is wrong with the state police administering a couple of days training in "situational awareness and competent handling of a firearm?"

Comment deleted.
WangoTango

You got that right. This bill is as meaningless as the balloon ban. I guess the rash of incidents involving concealed carry holders is prompting the need for this legislation smh

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