SB 672 Makes Theft of a Handgun a Felony
Annapolis- On Tuesday, Senator Justin Ready (R-Carroll) presented SB 672 before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, legislation that would reclassify the theft of a handgun as a felony offense from its current level of simple misdemeanor theft. “Senate Bill 672 is bipartisan legislation that strikes at the heart of gun violence – illegal handguns. Right now, the theft of a handgun is treated no differently than stealing a wristwatch or leather jacket. Instead of looking for ways to restrict citizens who follow the law and safely practice their 2nd Amendment rights, the General Assembly should focus on closing dangerous legal loopholes like this one,” Senator Ready said.
Under SB 672's provisions, a first conviction would impose an additional 5 years imprisonment with a minimum of 2, and/or $1,000 fine. The second conviction would impose and additional 10 years imprisonment with a minimum of 5 and/or up to $2,500 fine. “This is a penalty commensurate with the crime,” continued Senator Ready. “It would actually make real progress in addressing violent gun crime.”
In 2019, there were 348 murders committed in Baltimore – 331 of which were with illegal handguns. The bill received strong support from the National Rifle Association, Maryland Shall Issue, and local gun clubs. "Groups with a stated mission of reducing gun violence like Everytown and Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence should join pro-2nd Amendment groups in supporting SB 672. It will have a direct, positive impact on the sources of violent crime we’ve seen in the Baltimore region - those illegally obtained handguns." Senator Ready concluded.