Last year during the debate over SB-281 the Democrat leadership in the House used unprecedented tactics to protect convicted violent criminals who used firearms in the commission of crimes from being specifically punished under the bill. (See the actual incident below)
The rejected amendment to the O’Malley gun control bill was meant to prevent convicted criminals like Greg Thomas, the man who just shot a police officer, from being free to roam among us and commit such heinous acts.
The rejected amendment was re introduced this year as HB-712 and is again intentionally being denied a vote in the judiciary committee because of orders by Democrat leadership that “no gun bills are to be brought to the floor of the legislature”.
HB-712, like last year’s rejected amendment to SB-281, would deny convicted violent criminals who use firearms in the commission of crimes certain early release benefits such as parole, probation or diminution credits.
The very reason this bill is necessary can be seen in the tragedy being played out before us this last week.
Sgt Keith McNeill of the Baltimore Police department was ambushed and shot as he helplessly sat behind the wheel of his car. The man who just turned himself into police for the shooting is Gregg Thomas who pled guilty to 2nd degree murder (having used a firearm) in 2003.
Thomas received a 30 year sentence, had half immediately suspended by the judge then received credits in prison that let him out 5 years earlier than the 15 years he had remaining to serve.
Legislators passed the amendment last year that would have been added to the gun bill which would have kept dangerous convicted criminals, like the coward that snuck up and shot Sgt. McNeill, behind bars for the full length of their sentence. Democrat leadership quickly had that amendment struck from the bill.
This year, the amendment was put in the form of a bill, HB-712 which now Democratic leaders have consciously decided not to allow any so called “gun bills” to be voted on, whether they save lives, make sense or not.
Why would elected officials choose to follow a political policy decision that can only hurt their constituents? Such ill conceived plans are inexcusable.
Good men and woman are being killed or injured everyday because policies of the majority party continue to allow violent criminals to be released early back into society to do more harm.
The public needs to demand that HB-712, and other pro constituent firearms bills, be voted out of the Judiciary Committee and into law.