The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (SB 281) takes effect in Maryland on Tuesday.
After that date, The Free State becomes one of the most restrictive states in the nation when it comes to gun laws.
The following are some of the notable highlights.
First up, the sale of 45 different rifles, deemed assault long Guns, will be banned. These include an AK 47, Bushmaster semi-auto rifle, Beretta light .50 cal. semi-auto, UZI 9 mm carbine and a Mossberg model 500 Bullpup assault shotgun.
However, this new law is not retroactive. If you currently own one of these so-called assault weapons, you may continue to possess it and even pass it on through inheritance provided your heir is not otherwise disqualified from having such a regulated firearm.
After Oct. 1, magazines that have more than a 10-round capacity are banned, but again, if you already have a few 30-shot clips, you’re entitled to keep them.
Maryland residents who have involuntarily been committed to a mental health facility or voluntarily been admitted for more than 30 days are banned from owning a handgun, shotgun or rifle after Oct. 1.
If a gun dealer violates any record keeping regulations, the police can suspend his or her gun dealer’s license.
After Oct. 1, handguns become regulated firearms and you must apply for a handgun qualification license to the Maryland State Police before you may make a purchase.
Part of this process is a background check, digital fingerprinting and completion of a firearms orientation course. If you’ve already passed the hunter safety course offered by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, you don’t need to take the training part again.
The cost of the initial licensing, fingerprinting and background check is to be paid for by the applicant and will probably set you back a little over $100.
If you plan on buying multiple handguns in the future, you only will have to jump through all these hoops once for the initial application.
People who already legally own a handgun now don’t need this license. It’s only required if you’re going to purchase a handgun after Oct. 1.
Also, after that date, people moving into Maryland from another state must register their regulated firearms with the Maryland State Police within 90 days of moving here.
Finally, if your firearm is lost or stolen, you must report it within 72 hours of discovering the loss or theft. Should you forget, it is a civil penalty for the first offense and a criminal penalty for the second offense.
The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 is a 62-page bill and I’ve just highlighted some of the major points.
Last April, it passed the Maryland House by a vote of 78-61 and was passed in the Maryland Senate, 28-19. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed it into law on May 16 and it all becomes effective next week.
Patuxent Appreciation Days
The annual celebration of the Patuxent River and watershed is scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13 on Solomons Island.
The Calvert Marine Museum is now actively looking for vendors who have homemade or homegrown goods to sell. To apply, call 410-326-2042, ext. 41.
A parade will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 13 and local high school bands and other nonprofit organizations are welcome to participate. Floats centered around the Patuxent’s environment and culture are encouraged.
The Calvert County Commissioners, Calvert Marine Museum, Pa-Po-Peake Shrine Club, SMILE and the Calvert County Waterman’s Association are the sponsors of this event.
For more information, email Randy Geck at email@example.com.
Free boating course
Maryland’s DNR is now offering a free option to complete the BoatUS Foundation online boating safety course that will fully meet the state’s education requirements for boaters and PWC operators born on or after July 1, 1972.
This course is also approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and exceeds the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.
The lessons are loaded with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics.
Passing this course could even save you money through discounts on your boat’s insurance policy.
To take the course, go to www.BoatUS.org. I’m pretty sure you’ll want a faster connection than standard dial-up service.
A recent survey conducted by Southwick Associates showed that personal experience was the highest rated factor to influence gear purchased by both hunters and anglers. Also high on the list was brand loyalty.
From there, the next highly rated persuaders included another experienced hunter or angler and friends’ recommendations. Advertisements in magazines were the next most influential. At the very bottom of the list were celebrity and professional endorsements.