Senate gives final approval to gun control bill
Legislation goes to O'Malley for signature
April 04, 2013|By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun
The Maryland Senate gave final approval to Gov. Martin O'Malley's
sweeping gun control bill Thursday night, sending the legislation to the
governor for his promised signature.
O'Malley said in a statement that the bill strikes "a balance between
protecting the safety of law enforcement and our children, and
respecting the traditions of hunters and law-abiding citizens to
purchase handguns for self-protection."
The legislation bans the sale of ***-style weapons, requires
fingerprints and a license to buy a handgun, and limits magazines to 10
bullets, among other provisions, giving Maryland one of the strictest
gun laws in the nation.
The Senate voted 28-19 Thursday to accept House amendments to the
legislation, which also requires gun owners to report lost or stolen
firearms to police, empowers state police to audit gun dealers and bars
more people with mental illnesses from buying guns.
The bill, introduced by O'Malley, contains some of the most far-reaching
changes any state has approved in the aftermath of the December shooting
deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six educators in Newtown, Conn.
The bill would also increase the amount of information about people with
mental illnesses sent to a national database for background checks, as
well as bar gun ownership for people convicted of certain *** crimes
but given probation before judgment.
Gun control advocates, Democrats who supported the measure and O'Malley
have called the provision to license the sale of handguns the most
effective way to curb the flow of guns to criminals. Giving fingerprints
to state police, they said, creates a deterrent to "straw purchasers"
who would otherwise buy a gun on behalf of someone disqualified from
"This bill will do something very important. This bill will save lives,"
said Sen. Brian Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat who shepherded the
bill through his chamber. "It will stop criminals from getting guns."
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