Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller, and House Speaker Mike Busch signed 207 bills into law on April 24. Bills of significance that were signed into law include those focusing on comprehensive crime and keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and those with violent criminal backgrounds.
Senate Bill 101, part of the crime package, includes eliminating parole eligibility for repeat violent offenders and stronger sentences for people who commit crimes with a firearm. In addition, the legislation prohibits violent offenders from being ordered to treatment in lieu of incarceration and strengthens sentences for sexual abuse of a minor. Senate Bill 1137, also part of the crime package, expands the existing volume dealer law to include fentanyl and will allow for more effective prosecution of high-level heroin traffickers.
House Bill 1302 establishes a process by which certain medical professionals, law enforcement, and family or household members may seek an interim, temporary, or final court order to prevent a respondent from possessing or purchasing a firearm or ammunition for a limited time frame if the respondent is found to be in danger of causing personal injury to himself or others.
House Bill 1646 establishes a process by which an individual convicted or who pleads guilty of a crime involving domestic violence must transfer his or her firearms to law enforcement or a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Other legislation signed into law includes measures to support Maryland veterans and armed service members as well as their families; and fight against the heroin and opioid crisis.