House panel poised to end stalemate on gun-safety...


March 30, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

House panel poised to end stalemate on gun-safety classes

A stalemate on a proposal to make Maryland the first state in the country to require gun-safety education classes in public schools may end as soon as today, a House of Delegates committee chairwoman said yesterday.

Prospects for the bill had appeared dim when a dispute between the National Rifle Association and gun opponents over what should be taught prompted the House to send the bill back to the Ways and Means Committee.

Del. Sheila E. Hixson, the committee chairwoman, said yesterday that she believes her panel will approve compromise amendments today to give school systems the option of teaching the NRA-backed Eddie Eagle curriculum in lower grades or choosing another model. In upper grades, either hunting safety or gun safety classes could be taught. The Senate has passed its legislation 41-3.

Crabbing license bill gets House's preliminary OK

The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval yesterday to a bill that would require recreational crabbers to get licenses if they want to catch more than four dozen crabs a day. If they do get licenses, recreational crabbers could catch up to one bushel a day.

The measure would exempt children 16 or younger, and allow waterfront property owners to use two crab pots, hand lines and collapsible traps without a license. The bill is scheduled for a final vote in the House today. The Senate has passed a different version.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller abruptly canceled a joint hearing yesterday that was scheduled to hear testimony from watermen opposed to new restrictions on commercial crabbers. Del. John S. Arnick, a Baltimore County Democrat who is chairman of the joint committee, said it was too late in the legislative session, which ends April 9, to reschedule the hearing on the restrictions proposed by the Department of Natural Resources.

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