Baltimore to Introduce ‘SAFE Act,’ Mandatory Licensing for Gun Dealers

Baltimore County leaders will introduce a bill next month to create a mandatory licensing scheme for firearms dealers and gun shows.

To obtain a license under what’s being called the Secure All Firearms Effectively (SAFE) Act, store owners and gun show organizers would have to install county-approved security measures.  

“We must do whatever we can to keep our communities safe, and that includes doing more to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski in a press release.

“This bill is a straightforward solution to ensure that we keep stolen weapons off our streets and out of our communities,” he added.

The list of requirements include: 

Under the plan, a temporary gun show must have a security plan approved by the Chief of Police that includes an alarm system, video surveillance and live security guard coverage when the show is closed and establishments must:

  • Be monitored at all times by an alarm system registered with the county and a video system.
  • Include the following physical security elements:
    • Bollards or another physical barrier to prevent vehicle intrusion into the building; and
    • Security gates or security screens over windows; and
    • Either security gates or security screens over doors; or a secure vestibule for doors.
  • Secure all firearms in a safe, secure room, in a secured cage, or behind security shutters when the business is closed.
    • As an alternative to this requirement, the Chief of Police may authorize the dealer to provide live security guard coverage.
  • The Chief of Police can approve another combination of measures.

“This bill will require appropriate security measures for firearm retail establishments and gun shows in Baltimore County,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “The goal of this licensing is to avoid more preventable incidents in which multiple weapons are stolen, and then end up in the hands of violent criminals.” 

SEE ALSO: Baltimore Looking to Sue Gun Manufacturers for City’s Escalating Violence

Proponents of the SAFE Act indicated that seven gun shops in Baltimore County had been burglarized 10 times over the past two years.  In four of those incidents, the gun thieves succeeded in obtaining weapons.  

They also singled out gun thieves in Howard and Montgomery Counties who used a vehicle to ram into storefronts to gain access to inventory.  

Opponents of the bill argue that the state and the fed already closely regulate FFLs (hence the “licensee” designation in Federal Firearms Licensee).  Moreover, they believe the SAFE Act is really just a way to put gun stores out of business.  Between the cost of the security upgrades and the new license — which hasn’t been disclosed yet — it may make selling guns in Baltimore County cost-prohibitive. 

“It almost seems like they’re trying to over-regulate to the point where they will limit or chase out the number of federally licensed firearms dealers in the county. We think that’s probably their ultimate goal,” Paul Brockman, a spokesman for the group Patriot Picket, told The Baltimore Sun.  

Robert Warnick, a former county police officer, and owner of The Gun Shop and Fishing Tackle Store, agreed that it’s a way to put the squeeze on gun dealers.  

“They called the owners of the gun shops into police headquarters and pretty much told us what they’re going to do and then asked for suggestions,” Warnick explained. “It’s just another way of denying the Second Amendment to the people of Baltimore County.”

Olszewski will introduce the SAFE Act on Monday, Dec. 16 during a county council legislative session.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Robert Mccallum December 1, 2019, 10:13 am

    So, obviously they are trying to close down gun shows… most are held at county fair grounds, or venues like hotel speaking auditoriums… none have security cages or most of the security measures being called for and they know it… these scumbag liberals/socialist will never stop.. they are a disease to the world

  • Jeffrey Sun November 30, 2019, 3:50 pm

    Are you kidding me?!?! I think you mean keeping the guns out of law abiding citizens. Your statement of “keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,” is a joke.
    I bet you won’t find one thug with a clean background.
    Get with the program Johnny Jr and use some common sense.

  • Rex Stark November 30, 2019, 1:49 pm

    One thing everyone seems to have overlooked – the city of Baltimore is not part of Baltimore County, so this restrictive left-wing legislation can’t even pretend to have any effect on crime in the biggest shithole in the state.

  • Tom Hart November 30, 2019, 9:44 am

    Just more “common sense” solutions from the clueless politicians. Must get their inspiration from Chicago, as the pillar of successful anti crime ideas.

  • FirstStateMark November 29, 2019, 8:01 pm

    The way the Democrats talked about Elijah Cummings, I figured he had Baltimore all cleaned up and safe. I guess it was just another Democratic bullshit lie.

  • Brass November 29, 2019, 7:52 pm

    People not born and living in a Democrat plantation likely know gun dealers are licensed by the Federal government and will have completed a tougher background check then the local yokels will require.

    Those same plantation masters also know that by licensing them locally they can refuse to grant licenses that would otherwise be approved by the ATF.

    This is nothing more than a way to circumvent the federal control of the Second Amendment and prevent gun stores from opening and to refuse to renew those already open. The intent is to reduce the number of licensed gun dealers operating in lunatic land.

    This should result in a Supreme Court Case, we’ll have to wait and see. Real Americans living in Baltimore and Maryland as a whole need to move to a free state if they care about their rights. Those who stay? Oh well, you lose your constitutionally codified natural right to self defense.

  • Michael Keim November 29, 2019, 7:03 pm

    Here’s a unique idea: get rid of the shit heads running the city and start enforcing the laws that are in place. Baltimore is a screwed up shit hole because of the politicians they have running the city
    Spell that progressive Democrat.

  • Altoids November 29, 2019, 2:19 pm

    “We must do whatever we can to keep our communities safe, and that includes doing more to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,”

    How about doing something to confine criminals, rather than to further restrict the rights of those who’ve done nothing illegal?

  • Jason Coffey November 29, 2019, 11:25 am

    One of the many Democrat ran shitholes of America.

    • deanbob November 29, 2019, 8:12 pm

      Right up there with Detroit and Chicago. Not sure where LA and Portland line up among them.

  • Scott November 29, 2019, 9:42 am

    China has asked to disarm this country so they can invade. They already bought out a number of politicians.

  • joefoam November 29, 2019, 9:33 am

    Like this has any hope of changing the culture in Baltimore. News flash idiot legislators-crooks don’t shop at the local gun store. Stop trying to blame your failure to address the ‘gun violence’ on guns.

  • Griffendad November 29, 2019, 8:27 am

    The loop already goes around Baltimore. Can’t we just wall that off too. You know, keep them penned in. Charge them to leave and check their papers when they want to mingle with the rest of the country.

  • bikermike November 29, 2019, 6:44 am

    What a crock! How about prosecuting to the full extent of the law instead of minimum to no sentence when caught. How about applying fed laws to crimes committed with a firearm by confirmed convicts. How about no plea bargaining. How about using the RICO act more. What about all the firearms lost or stolen that belong to law enforcement?

    • Bad Penguin November 29, 2019, 8:20 am

      bikermike you are correct on all points. The only people prosecuted to the full extent of the law for guns are law abiding citizens who use a gun to protect themselves or others.

      The real problem is the country and city are governed by a bunch of crooks who need to all go to jail.

    • ExNuke December 12, 2019, 7:58 pm

      The first place the RICO act should be applied is against these Repressive Democrats for conspiring to violate civil rights under color of law, theft of honest service for failure to “support and defend” the Constitution and Perjury for lying before a Federal Judge when swearing their “Oath of Office”.

  • Hendrik Haan November 29, 2019, 6:30 am

    Wow! Suddenly, people will stop being killed by firearms in Baltimore! Wish I would have thought of that solution.

  • Dr Motown November 27, 2019, 7:23 am

    Will they mandate the same for liquor stores? Lots of stolen booze ends up destroying lives and causing traffic fatalities…

    • Bad Penguin November 29, 2019, 8:24 am

      We should outlaw cars and doctors too. Cars are used kill about 35,000 people a year with about 20,000 being kids. Doctors kill 70,000+ people a year!

  • SeppW November 26, 2019, 7:06 pm

    What the hell. The people voted these clowns into office and now they get to reap the rewards.

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