Statement from Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown on Passage of HB 296 and HB 302
ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 17, 2009) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released the following statement congratulating the House of Delegates upon passage of HB 296 and HB 302:
“I sincerely congratulate the Maryland House of Delegates for joining Governor O’Malley and me in our fight to save lives. By passing our domestic violence bills, we have taken an important step toward our goal of being the safest state in America.
“Last year, 75 Marylanders lost their lives because of domestic violence and more than half of them by a firearm. Taking guns out of the hands of abusers is a common sense measure that will protect victims and save lives.
“I thank Chairman Vallario and the House Judiciary Committee for leading the debate on these important reforms and for pushing back against amendments that would have threatened our ability to protect victims from their abusers.
“I am excited for the Maryland Senate to act quickly on this legislation and pass these bills on to Governor O’Malley for his signature.”
HB 302 allows judges to order the respondent in a temporary protective order to surrender any firearms in his or her possession. Currently, the law allows judges to temporarily remove the respondent from the home, award custody of minor children to the petitioner and issue stay-away orders. Maryland’s temporary protective order law does not give judges authority or discretion to remove firearms, even when there is a specific threat of violence. HB 302 gives judges an option, which they currently do not have. HB 296 makes it mandatory for judges to order the respondent of a final protective order to surrender any firearms (handguns and long guns) in his or her possession.
Brown has led the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to pass this legislation, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Last August, Brown’s cousin, Cathy, was killed in her Montgomery Village home by her estranged boyfriend.
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