Hogan vetoes bills regulating handguns, oysters

In this Thursday, May 9, file photo, Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during the Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young swearing-in ceremony at War Memorial Building in Baltimore. Hogan on Friday, May 24, vetoed eight bills, including legislation that would change state laws regulating handguns and oysters.

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday vetoed eight bills, including legislation that would change state laws regulating handguns and oysters.

Hogan, a Republican, vetoed a proposal that would have abolished the state’s Handgun Permit Review Board. Proponents of the legislation say the board’s political appointees were too liberal in granting appeals from individuals seeking handgun permits.

The board hears appeals from Marylanders whose applications are rejected by Maryland State Police. The legislation would have replaced the panel with a group of judges.

In a letter to leaders of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, Hogan called the bill a politically motivated power grab and “a solution in search of a problem.”

Hogan also vetoed a proposal that would have created a new process for regulating oyster harvests. Hogan said the bill would disrupt a balanced scheme that’s currently in place in favor of a process dictated by environmentalists, particularly the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

In a statement, the foundation said the veto will allow the Hogan administration to continue implementing policies that lead to overfishing of the Bay’s oyster population.

The legislature can override the vetoes with a three-fifths vote when it meets in January. Both bills passed the General Assembly with more than 60 percent support.

Hogan also vetoed legislation that would have expanded tuition assistance for some immigrants. Hogan said he favored an approach that would extend aid to all eligible Maryland students.

He also vetoed a proposal that would have prevented private employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history.

He also announced he would allow dozens of bills to become law without his signature. That includes legislation to ban food and drink containers made of foam.

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