Friday, February 01, 2008

House Bill 517, introduced by State Delegate Emmett Burns (D-10), would have drastic effects on the sale of ammunition in Maryland. HB517 would require ammunition manufacturers to encode a serial number on all ammunition for regulated firearms (handguns and “assault weapons”) sold in the state and register the ammunition to the purchaser. Only shotgun ammunition is exempted. All non-encoded ammunition privately possessed would have to be disposed of by January 1, 2009. HB517 would also create an extensive and intrusive database on all ammunition purchasers.

Ammunition sellers would be required to submit to the database, the name and address of all ammunition manufacturers and the serial number of all ammunition. Also collected in the database would be information about the purchaser of ammunition, including the name, date of birth, driver’s license number, serial number of ammunition purchased, and “any other information the Secretary (of State Police) considers necessary.” This database would be funded by a five cent per round tax on encoded ammunition, significantly increasing the cost of ammunition.

By raising the cost and burden on ammunition manufacturers and dealers, this bill will likely drive the firearm business out of the State of Maryland.

The House Judiciary Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee have scheduled HB517 for a hearing on Tuesday, February 26. Please contact the members of these committees and respectively urge them to oppose this dangerous bill and protect your Second Amendment rights.

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