Committee: Senate Judicial Proceedings
The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch) dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
Senate Bill 387 alters a certain definition of "firearm" to include a certain unfinished frame or receiver; prohibiting a person from purchasing, receiving, selling, offering to sell, or transferring an unfinished frame or receiver, or possessing a firearm on or after January 1, 2023, unless it is required by federal law to be, and has been, imprinted with a certain number in a certain manner; and requiring the Secretary of State Police to suspend or revoke a certain dealer's license if the dealer is charged with or convicted of a certain crime.
The Catholic Church has a strong interest in public safety and keeping communities safe. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states in response to rising violence that “[w]e have an obligation to respond. Violence – in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world – is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers.”
To that point, the Church supports legislation that controls the sale and use of and strengthens regulations on dangerous firearms, and other such legislation that makes guns safer.
In practice, the Conference supports legislation that restricts access to lethal weapons that endanger entire communities. When community members are not in fear of their lives, they can live up to their God-given potential and enrich the world around them. Every person has a right to life, and the Conference will continue to work to combat violence and promote a culture of peace. Banning dangerous and lethal weapons such as untraceable firearms is a manageable and efficient way to curb the rising culture of violence. Recent events in the United States have made gun safety legislation a primary goal, and the Conference earnestly supports the banning of these devices that contribute to that effort.
The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 387.