SB-852 bill in Maryland State Senate

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Passes SB 852 – Violent Firearms Offender Act of 2021

Annapolis, Md. – Today, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed an amended version of SB 852 – the Violent Firearms Offender Act of 2021 in advance of the evening’s crossover deadline by a vote of 6-5.

SB852 is an omnibus bill that was the part of Governor Hogan’s Crime Package that passed the Senate in 2020 with a 43-4 vote, but never received a hearing in the House during the shorted session. Senate Republicans reintroduced the legislation this year as part of the Joint Republican Caucus Crime Package.

As amended in the committee, SB852 enhances penalties for using guns in violent crimes, closes the drug dealer loophole, increases penalties for knowingly selling a gun to someone who commits a crime and creates tougher penalties for use of assault weapons in a crime and illegally possessing and selling firearms.

“SB 852 is commonsense legislation that targets violent criminals and repeat gun offenders who are perpetuating so much violence across the State,” said Senate Minority Whip and Judicial Proceedings Committee Member, Michael Hough (Frederick). “This is a good step in making our neighborhoods and communities safer.”

Measures to make the theft of a firearm a felony and several measures impacting bail for repeat violent offenders were amended out. SB852 now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.