Open Letter, HB-758
Dear Parishioner Protection Act Supporters,
Thank you all for the tremendous amount of support that was received on behalf of the Parishioner Protection Act., House Bill 758! The number of community members who responded made it clear that despite the media’s negative tone, protecting our churches was, and will continue to be, an extremely important issue and supported by District 7, along with many other Marylanders. I wish I could report that the majority of the General Assembly shared our views and voted on behalf of their constituents, but unfortunately once again, liberal agendas dismissed their constituents and House Bill 758 disappeared.
It was clear early in session that liberal legislators did not support the Parishioner Protection Act, because the legislative bill and lead sponsor, Delegate Kathy Szeliga met early resistance. Without the support needed, Delegate Szeliga attempted to save the bill and amend the Parishioner Protection Act to only include Harford County, as a pilot program.
On the morning of March 6th, 2018, myself, Delegate Kathy Szeliga and Sheriff Jeff Gahler held a news press conference in Annapolis. It was clear, based on the news conference, that the media was not in favor of the bill. The panel fielded many questions on why the bill was needed, almost as if the bill was on trial during the press conference. As promised, I stood alongside Sheriff Gahler and Delegate Szeliga in Annapolis and carried your message, of allowing churches the legislative ability to protective themselves. This message was conveyed during the press conference and in testimony. Along with the picture of the press conference, you can find my written testimony on my web site, www.aaronpenman.com, under news and events.
Later that day, the Parishioner Protection Act was scheduled with all other gun legislation. House Bill 758 was heard late that evening in the Judiciary Committee. Following the committee hearing, the bill was never voted on. This is commonly referred to in Annapolis as “filling the bill in a drawer”, never to be seen or heard again, subsequently killing the bill. This is the way opposing legislators keep from voting on a bill and there is no recourse for the sponsors, stakeholders or supporters.
In summary, the bill was killed and will not proceed. This is disappointing, but not shocking considering the democratic hold on the General Assembly. With that said, with your help and support, I will win this election! In doing so, I solemnly promise to continue this fight, ensuring your voice is heard in support of the Parishioner Protection Act!
In addition, I will become a champion for other conservative values of less government regulations, lowering taxes, protecting business, supporting the 2nd Amendment, keeping Maryland from becoming a sanctuary state and getting tough on crime and career offenders during the next legislative session!
Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions. Thank you again and I look forward to serving your values in Annapolis during the next four years!
District 7 Candidate
Maryland House of Delegates