Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maryland Sherriff's Association / Gun Rally/ Safer Communities

Annapolis  Rally
Annapolis – Representatives from the Maryland Sheriff’s Association recently attended, and spoke at a rally at the State House to voice support for Second Amendment issues that involve gun bills working through the Maryland Legislature.  The rally was sponsored by a number of gun rights’ organizations and associations; all of which were offering opposing testimony to bills that were designed to infringe,  negate, or diminish gun ownership rights under the provisions of the Second Amendment.  Well over 1,000 citizens from these groups were in attendance.  The Maryland Sheriff’s Association had previously taken legislative positions in opposition to gun bill proposals that were convoluted, restricted law enforcement, or that attacked the fundamental rights provided in the Second Amendment.  On major gun bills of interest, Maryland Sheriff’s Association President Sheriff Mike Lewis (Wicomico) and Sheriff Tim Cameron (St. Mary’s - serving as Chair of the Maryland Sheriff’s Legislative Committee) testified in opposition to provisions of gun legislation that adversely impacted gun ownership, sales, transfer, licensing, and other prohibitions that restricted a qualified citizen’s right to purchase or own a firearm.

(L/R):  Sheriff John Price (Kent), Sheriff Dallas Pope (Talbot), Sheriff Mike Lewis (Wicomico), Sheriff Reggie Mason (Worcester), Sheriff Randy Bounds (Caroline), Sheriff Gary Hofmann (Queen Anne’s)
Representing the Maryland Sheriffs, and attending this rally were Sheriff John Price (Kent), Sheriff Gary Hofmann (Queen Anne’s), Sheriff Randy Bounds (Caroline), Sheriff Dallas Pope (Talbot), Sheriff Mike Lewis (Wicomico), and Sheriff Reggie Mason (Worcester).  Sheriff James Phillips (Dorchester) was slated to attend though experienced a last minute conflict.

The Maryland Sheriffs, as Maryland Constitutional officers, had previously met and discussed the current gun bills; assessing their public impact and constitutionality.  In formulating a stance on these bills, the Maryland Sheriffs reinforced the need for thorough and complete background checks to prevent those who are disqualified from owning or purchasing a firearm.  Further, the Sheriffs supported efforts to fully identify and screen those persons with mental health needs who pose a risk to themselves or others from owning or possessing firearms.  Another tangent of their position involved the full and effective prosecution of all current firearms statutes that involve gun crimes, and in particular those gun crimes with aggravating factors of drugs or acts of violence.  Measures to assure the full implementation of sentencing with the maximum penalties applied for gun crimes is of critical importance for the removal of these criminals from our communities.  The stance and proclamation of the Maryland Sheriff’s Association in regard to current gun legislation and related public safety aspects is attached to this release. 

Sheriff Dallas G. Pope

Talbot County Sheriff's Office

115 W. Dover Street

Easton, MD  21601

Lt. Edward C. Schreier

Worcester County Sheriff’s Office

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