Maryland State Delegate Michael D. Smigiel, Sr. is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for March.
According to CCRKBA Public Affairs Director John Michael Snyder, â€œIn Maryland, the so-called â€˜Free State,â€™ gun owners generally have a tough time from the legislative standpoint. For quite a few years now, the political powers that be generally have been promoting a comprehensive anti-gun agenda and have enjoyed a lot of support from the dominant media in the state, including The Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. When faced with this kind of a situation, it takes a lot of public courage as well as personal commitment for a politician to stand up in a forthright manner in defense of the individual right to keep and bear arms. Mike Smigiel is just such a politician. He most certainly deserves the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award.â€
Smigiel has introduced legislation in multiple sessions of the General Assembly to nullify a landmark measure passed in 2000 that required handgun manufacturers to test-fire all handguns sold in Maryland and send the spent shell casings to the state police. The police file the shellâ€™s ballistics markings in a database, which officers supposedly can use to match shell casings found at crime scenes.
Â This year, the repeal measure,House Bill 179, with bi-partisan sponsorship, has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Although gun control advocates support the 2000 law as a potentially effective crime-fighting tool, a recent Maryland State Police report said it is expensive and ineffective and ought to be repealed.
â€œThe state police have indicated itâ€™s not working,â€ said Smigiel, whose previous measures on the subject have died in committee. â€œWeâ€™re wasting a couple million dollars which we could be putting to better use.â€ Smigiel, who represents Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne and Caroline Counties, also has also gone to bat for a Cecil County resident seeking a gun permit from the Secretary of State Police.
Â â€œLet there be no mistake on where I stand on the issue of Second Amendment protections,â€ says Smigiel. â€œI have always been and always will be a strong supporter of
the Second Amendment. I collect weapons, sport-shoot at the range and keep firearms for self-defense. You can count on me to vote to protect the constitutional rights of all law-abiding citizens on this issue.
â€œThat being said, I think that the main issue facing pro-Second Amendment Marylanders today is not only how do we continue to protect those few rights we have left but how do we eliminate the overly intrusive laws which currently exist in Maryland.
Â â€œThe frustrating part for pro-Second Amendment advocates,â€ he continued, â€œboth in and out of the legislature is that the liberal antigun rhetoric is not based on fact or reason but rather emotion. It is near impossible to convince liberal legislators to change their positions. Fortunately, positions such as these lead to indefensible votes by the antigun left.â€
Â He advises the Second Amendment community in the Free State to â€œwatch close this session for more irrational votes based on emotion rather than common sense. While we may be unable to change the attitude of the ultra-liberal, anti-Second Amendment criminal apologist, we can identify them and target them for removal during election years.
â€œIn the interim, I and other pro-Second Amendment legislators shall continue our efforts to roll back the intrusive laws that have been passed previously.â€
Born in 1958 in Baltimore, Mike served in the U.S. Marine Corps and has been a Member of the House of Delegates for over two years. Heâ€™s Deputy Minority Whip and serves on the Judiciary Committee and has served on the Health and Government Operations Committee.
He received a degree in psychology and history from Elgin Community College in Elgin, IL in 1982, his BA in political science from Northern Illinois University in 1985, and his JD from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1989. He also was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1989.
Mike is the Founder of Mediation, Inc., an alternative dispute resolution center, and is a Director of the Bainbridge Naval Training Center Historical Association, Inc.