Maryland is considering laws that would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons into bars and restaurants, even if they’re prohibited under state law.
The Maryland State Police is reviewing the proposal, which has been circulating among legislators, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is expected to sign it into law.
The measure is similar to one passed in North Carolina in April and would allow the carrying of concealed weapons at bars, restaurants and sporting events.
The proposal would also allow concealed weapons on public property, and would make it illegal for anyone who was convicted of a felony to possess a gun.
The measure would also create a system for issuing permits for concealed weapons.
The Maryland Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. John L. Stivers, R-Montgomery, has been working on the bill since late February, according to a committee aide.
A final vote is expected by the end of April.
The proposal would allow people with a valid Maryland concealed weapons permit to bring concealed weapons to bars, taverns and restaurants that don’t have a policy prohibiting weapons.
Anyone who owns a gun would also be able to carry a concealed weapon in the same way they would carry a gun on the street.
Anyone found with a firearm in public would be subject to a $100 fine.
The committee’s legislation would also exempt people who want to use a concealed weapons license to carry out a religious service from being required to bring their weapons into a restaurant, a service that is not allowed under state laws.