ACTION ALERT: Maryland Preemption Bill Advances, Needs Your Calls/Emails Now!


Time to fire up the phones and keyboards folks! Maryland’s Knife Law Preemption Bill, SB653, is coming up for a committee vote, and the committee members need to hear from you TODAY. This is my home state so help me out people! Full details from Knife Rights after the jump.


Maryland Knife Law Preemption Bill Needs Your Action

Knife Rights’ bipartisan Maryland Knife Law Preemption bill, SB 653, was heard before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on March 1st.  Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter testified in support of the bill. The next step is for a committee vote.

If you live, work or travel in Maryland, please CALL or EMAIL the Committee Members TODAY and ask them to please vote Yes on SB 653. That’s all you need to do, keep it simple and polite.

Judicial Proceedings Committee


Senator Bobby A. Zirkin (Chair)
Phone: 410-841-3131 | 301-858-3131 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3131

Senator Lisa A. Gladden (Vice Chair)
Phone: 410-841-3697 | 301-858-3697 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3697

Senator James Brochin
Phone: 410-841-3648 | 301-858-3648 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3648

Senator Robert Cassilly
Phone: 410-841-3158 | 301-858-3158 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3158

Senator Michael J. Hough
Phone: 410-841-3704 | 301-858-3704 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3704

Senator Susan C. Lee
Phone: 410-841-3124 | 301-858-3124 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3124

Senator C. Anthony Muse
Phone: 410-841-3092 | 301-858-3092 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3092

Senator Wayne Norman (Bill Sponsor)
Phone: 410-841-3603 | 301-858-3603 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3603

Senator Victor R. Ramirez
Phone: 410-841-3745 | 301-858-3745 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3745

Senator Jamie Raskin
Phone: 410-841-3634 | 301-858-3634 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3634

Senator Justin Ready
Phone: 410-841-3683 | 301-858-3683 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3683

Last year’s tragic Freddie Gray arrest highlighted the kind of problems that arise without preemption. Under Maryland law, Freddie Gray’s assisted-opening knife was clearly not a switchblade by standard legal definitions. Even if it was, switchblades are legal to open carry in Maryland and from the arresting officer’s account the knife and clip were clearly visible. However, Baltimore has both a complete prohibition of “switch-blade knives” and a unique and unusual definition of a switchblade that might conceivably include Gray’s assisted-opening knife, although we would contend that it does not. In any case, if knife law preemption had been the law in Maryland, then only state law would count and there clearly would have been no knife law violation upon which to arrest Gray. (Click for more details on the Freddie Gray knife, his arrest on the switchblade charge and Baltimore’s switchblade law.)

Not to be outdone by Baltimore, Ocean City, Maryland, is ranked third in our listing of the 10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities in America. They made news in 2014 by specifically outlawing assisted-opening knives via an emergency ordinance that in a classic Catch-22 also made it illegal to even dispose of one if you were unfortunate enough to own one of the newly made illegal knives in the city at the time.

Knife Law Preemption repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

Knife Rights passed the nation’s first Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010 and has since passed preemption bills in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and most recently in Wisconsin.




  1. MD Matt says:

    On it, fellow Maryland inmate here.

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ACTION ALERT: Maryland Preemption Bill Advances, Needs Your Calls/Emails Now!

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