In a move that’s stirring controversy, Maryland legislators have introduced a bill that could drastically change the landscape for gun owners in the state. House Bill 430 (see below), spearheaded by Delegate Terri Hill and co-sponsored by several other delegates, proposes a unique requirement for gun owners: mandatory liability insurance of at least $300,000 for those wishing to carry concealed.
This bill emerges amidst ongoing debates over gun control and the rights of gun owners. Under this proposed legislation, carrying a firearm without meeting the insurance requirement would be prohibited. The insurance is intended to cover claims for property damage, bodily injury, or death that may result from accidents involving the use of or storage of a firearm. There are a few companies that offer this such as USCCA and US Lawshield are two that I can recommend.
Critics of the bill see this as another hurdle for law-abiding citizens wishing to exercise their right to carry firearms. Gun advocate Frank Duffy expressed concerns to FOX 45 News, stating that this is an effort to obstruct people trying to obtain concealed carry permits. He referenced the Supreme Court’s decision that states like Maryland cannot demand a ‘good or substantial reason’ for issuing a permit, suggesting this bill could be seen as a workaround to impose restrictions on gun owners.
Delegate Hill, however, has described the bill as an attempt to pass “common sense” gun control. The idea reportedly originated from a constituent’s suggestion that gun owners should bear some liability in cases where firearms are used in ways that cause harm.
The proposed law exempts members of the military and federal law enforcement officers from the insurance requirement. Additionally, an exemption exists for unloaded guns. But why would you carry an unloaded gun?
The bill, if passed, would mark a significant shift in the requirements for gun ownership and carrying in Maryland. It raises numerous questions about the practicality, fairness, and legal implications of mandating insurance for gun owners. The debate over this bill is likely to intensify as it progresses through the legislative process, drawing attention from both gun rights advocates and those pushing for stricter gun control measures.
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