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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Baltimore County Council is voting next Tuesday, July 5 at 6pm in Towson on a new piece of legislation that would (a) make it illegal to possess firearms and ANY knives on County parks property (where all public boat ramps in the County are located) with confiscation as the penalty and (b) removing the exemption to the "animals at large" (dogs on a leash) law for "dogs being used or trained for hunting" within a County park.

This is an important issue for waterfowlers and those training hunting/trial dogs in this suburban county. There is not much free, public access to water where retrievers can be trained within the County, other than within these parks.

Representatives from the Maryland Waterfowlers' Association attended the work session and testified before the County Council on Tues. 6/28 in opposition to the bill and received very favorable responses from the Council and the Director of Recreation and Parks. It is our understanding that an amendment to the bill will be added to exempt hunters with valid hunting licenses from the firearm/knife prohibition while traversing County property to access a boat ramp during hunting seasons. We were also told the hunting dog exemption to the leash rule will also be looked at more closely prior to the vote on 7/5.

Our MDWFA staff will be in attendance at the vote on 7/5 and would appreciate any other like-minded individuals in/near this jurisdiction to attend.
 

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Hope it is shot down. pun intended.

Personally, I could never fathom living in a place where restrictions such as these were made upon people. Good grief... knives? what about axes? chainsaws? gas? wooden stakes? bats? golf clubs? steel toed boots?

Infringement of rights, if you ask me.
 

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Ironic that the meeting / vote is the day after "Independence Day". More government overreach.

Irishwhistler
 

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Guess that would include fisherman's filet knife?

Glad I moved out of Maryland in '74.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am happy to report that the Council has since adopted an amendment that more clearly defines that only weapon-style knives ("a dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade, sand club metal knuckles, razor, nunchaku, or dart") are prohibited. An exemption for hunters with valid hunting licenses possessing cased and unloaded firearms while crossing county land to hunt other property open to hunting was also added. No word yet on retriever training exemption to the leash law they are trying to take away.
 

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I am happy to report that the Council has since adopted an amendment that more clearly defines that only weapon-style knives ("a dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade, sand club metal knuckles, razor, nunchaku, or dart") are prohibited. An exemption for hunters with valid hunting licenses possessing cased and unloaded firearms while crossing county land to hunt other property open to hunting was also added. No word yet on retriever training exemption to the leash law they are trying to take away.
That is indeed good (better) news! Anytime something like this comes up, we should all ask, "how can I help?", no matter where we live. Because once one county 'falls' you can be sure the bird huggers will go after more. The AKC legislative dept has a decent track record helping to dissuade legislators from doing these kinds of things. Stay sharp folks!

lucas
 

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Please do check the exact wording before the vote. Too many times a word or phrase gets left out or in and the legislation doesn't meet the expectations of the people who vote. Right here in Alabama, legislation was returned to the Legislative Reference Service for an amendment. When the bill was presented two days later, no one read it. Unfortunately another sentence was added, by we know not whom ... yet, which added another whole concept to the bill ... which was passed then by both houses and signed without anyone reading it or discovering the conflicts created.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Please do check the exact wording before the vote. Too many times a word or phrase gets left out or in and the legislation doesn't meet the expectations of the people who vote. Right here in Alabama, legislation was returned to the Legislative Reference Service for an amendment. When the bill was presented two days later, no one read it. Unfortunately another sentence was added, by we know not whom ... yet, which added another whole concept to the bill ... which was passed then by both houses and signed without anyone reading it or discovering the conflicts created.
I was handed a copy of the amendment already adopted by the Council and it is somewhat satisfactory on the knife/firearm issue (though, we would like to see confiscation as a penalty stricken and an exemption for CCW holders, which they are not conceding on yet). We are still waiting to hear back about the leash exemption for training dogs.
 

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"Terrapin"

Maryland "Terps".

That is for the main College Park Campus. The one I attended.
Don't know about other campuses if they differ.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Just one more reason why I moved out of Baltimore County to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The only thing that could make the Eastern Shore better would be if it were not in Maryland! I can't wait until Hubby retires and we can move out of Maryland!!!!
 

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In New Hampsire we've got:
No state income tax
No sales tax
No state capitol gains tax
No seatbelt law
No helmet law
No car insurance requirement
No state restrictions on what kinds of firearms or accessories you can own.
Permit-less open carry
shall-issue in 14 days CCW for $10
A state law making it illegal for local gov'ts to have knife or gun ordinances.
Thousands of acres of picturesque wilderness, ponds, rivers and streams where no one gives a crap what you do

...just sayin...
 

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I've passed all this along to the AKC Legislative Affairs dept. They have not heard of any amendment relating to the training on county property but are still checking.
 

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In New Hampsire we've got:
No state income tax
No sales tax
No state capitol gains tax
No seatbelt law
No helmet law
No car insurance requirement
No state restrictions on what kinds of firearms or accessories you can own.
Permit-less open carry
shall-issue in 14 days CCW for $10
A state law making it illegal for local gov'ts to have knife or gun ordinances.
Thousands of acres of picturesque wilderness, ponds, rivers and streams where no one gives a crap what you do

...just sayin...
i filled led out my one page pistol permit at the local police station on a Saturday. It asked my name, driver licenses number, address, and thre references (that the never checked). The following Friday a cop showed up at my door with my ccw. Pretty cool place as far as laws go. The 90 F'ing inches of snow from Nov to May was not worth it for me.
I could live there if I didn't have to leave home.
 

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BTW- when I moved back to Florida I went hundreds of miles out of my way to avoid traveling through draconian carry law states like MD
 

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Looks like we will now be the "Outlaw Retriever Trainers"
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The bill passed last night 4-3, with Councilmembers Kach, Crandell, and Marks voting against it (in our favor). Prior to its passing, the amendment clarifying "dangerous weapons" (as opposed to prohibiting ALL knives) and exempting hunters from the firearms prohibition was adopted, so that is a win. Another amendment was introduced by Councilman Kach (seconded by Councilman Crandell) to exempt CCW holders from the firearms prohibition, which did not pass (only Kach, Crandell, and Marks voted in favor of the amendment). An amendment concerning hunting dogs was not introduced or considered.


What it means: the County claims firearm possession in County parks has been illegal since 1986 per Parks & Rec. Director's executive order and that hunters who have been bringing firearms into County parks to use boat ramps since that time have been doing so illegally. The passing of the bill now legitimizes/legalizes a hunter exemption to that prohibition. This is a win that the MDWFA was instrumental in obtaining. However, we lost on the issue of exempting "dogs who are being used or being trained for hunting" from the County's leash laws on County property. Current law (for the next 45 days) is that dogs being used or trained for hunting are exempt from the leash law. The passing of this bill removes that exemption.


Other notables: 4 individuals on behalf of the American Kennel Club attended to oppose the removal of the exemption.


What's next: The bill is still pending the County Executive's signature before it is signed into law. We will contact his office with AKC delegates about requesting his veto on the bill until the retriever exemption is reinstated, though the bill was introduced to the Council at his request, so that'd be a longshot.


We spoke with the Director of Parks & Rec. about obtaining a leash law exemption for certain parks. He was amenable to this proposal. The MDWFA and the AKC delegates will work on scheduling a meeting with Director Williams about which parks would be allowed to be excepted. Anyone who uses Baltimore County parks for this purpose is encouraged to contact me to let me know which parks are important to you to use so that we can bring them up at the meeting. Hopefully the meeting can occur within the next three weeks and I will keep you all updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I received the below email from Councilman Wade Kach:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the Recreation and Parks bill. As you know, I voted against this legislation. However it passed 4-3.

This was a poorly written bill. While many of the obvious problems were addressed through amendments, there were many more like yours that did not receive an appropriate consideration. I am not convinced that the bill was properly vetted and it needed more time for consideration and amendments.

Prior to the vote, it was my suggestion that the Council table the bill and facilitate an all-inclusive work session in which proponents, opponents, interested parties and Council members would go over the proposal line by line to make certain it reflected the view of the majority. That way, a more reasonable and inclusive accommodation concerning dog training/hunting could have been considered and, hopefully, rectified through amendment.

Despite all of this, I have been assured by Barry Williams, the director of Recreation and Parks that he is willing to work with the leaders of your group to develop a list of parks where dog training will be allowed. I know Barry to be a reasonable and good man and he has said that he is waiting for your organization’s leadership to contact him with a list of parks where you would like AKC/hunting training to still take place. I encourage AKC members to follow up with him to ensure that County Parks will still be able to permit AKC training at agreed upon parks.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me.

Take care,
Wade
 
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