ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gun control opponents gear up for a fight at the polls. A petition drive called Free State Petition may soon be up and running.
But, as Political Reporter Pat Warren reports, even some of the staunchest Second Amendment advocates think the petition is ill-advised.
Gun groups brought thousands of gun rights advocates to Annapolis to fight the governor’s gun bill in the General Assembly, but they will use lawyers to fight it in court.
“This bill is clearly unconstitutional. It goes against our rights,” Delegate Neil Parrott said.
Gun groups have decided it is better to go to court than to the polls, because of Second Amendment constitutional guarantees.
Delegate Neil Parrott, whose mdpetitions.com successfully gathered the signatures to put Maryland’s Dream Act and same-sex marriage laws on last year’s ballot, will not petition the gun law to referendum on next year’s ballot.
Mdpetitions.com may be sharp, but it’s not the only knife in the drawer.
“Mdpetitions can’t say there’s not going to be any other effort. We’ve just decided not to put our force behind that,” said Parrott.
But Free State Petitions, supported by Delegate Pat McDonough, is expected to start a petition drive this week.
“People are not going to get excited about a lawsuit; they’re not going to put signs all over their lawns. They’re not going to go around and campaign for a lawsuit,” McDonough said. “They will with a petition.”
And even if a referendum fails at the polls, supporters say it will have served a purpose.
“If the referendum fails, well, it fails. But for 17 months, we’re going to preserve the constitutional rights of the citizens and we’re going to light up and excite a lot of people and there’s a benefit there,” McDonough said.
State delegates and senators are all up for re-election next year.
It is going to take more than 18,000 signatures by May 31 just to keep the drive alive.
McDonough says the language for the petition could be approved as soon as Tuesday.