Statement from Lt. Governor Brown on House Judiciary Committee's Favorable Report of O'Malley-Brown Administration's Domestic Violence Bills
ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 6, 2009) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released the following statement in response to the Judiciary Committee’s favorable passage of HB 296 and HB 302:
“Governor O’Malley and I have committed ourselves to improving public safety in every part of the state. Because of that commitment and because of the increased number of reported cases of domestic violence, we introduced legislation that will fight back against domestic violence.
I applaud the House Judiciary Committee for joining our efforts and sending our domestic violence bills to the House floor. Domestic violence has touched too many families – including my own – and these bills are a common sense step in a direction that will save Marylanders’ lives.”
Last month, Lt. Governor Brown testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 296 and HB 302. HB 302 allows judges to order the respondent in a temporary protective order to surrender any firearms in his or her possession. Currently, the law allows judges to temporarily remove the respondent from the home, award custody of minor children to the petitioner and issue stay-away orders. Maryland’s temporary protective order law does not give judges authority or discretion to remove firearms, even when there is a specific threat of violence. HB 302 gives judges an option, which they currently do not have. HB 296 makes it mandatory for judges to order the respondent of a final protective order to surrender any firearms (handguns and long guns) in his or her possession.
The committee provided a favorable recommendation with amendments.
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