As reported by somd.com, a slightly changed version of Governor Martin O’Malley’s gun control bill was approved by Maryland delegates on Wednesday, April 3rd, after two long days of debate on the House floor.
All of the most significant provisions of the version passed by the Senate were kept intact. Those include the following:
- Limit the mentally ill’s access to firearms
- Ban assault rifles
- Lower magazines’ ammunition capacity from 20 to ten
- Require fingerprinting of individuals who purchase handguns
- Require at least eight hours of safety training for those who purchase handguns
Conservative Democrats and Republicans made several attempts to amend the bill. Efforts were made to narrow the definition of assault rifle, get rid of the mandate for fingerprinting those who buy handguns, and to delay the date the bill would take effect.
Since the bill is slightly different from the bill passed by the Senate in February, before the final bill goes to Governor O’Malley for signing, the Senate has to approve the changes. State liaison for the National Rifle Association (NRA), Shannon Alford, said it was still her hope that the Maryland Senate would reject the bill. Although many delegates consider the bill to be imperfect, House Democrats, for the most part, are happy with the bill in its final version. Their hope is that the gun control bill will help save lives.
Delegates from both parties pointed to the divide on the issue between rural and urban areas of the state. Suburban and urban delegates were overwhelmingly in support, while delegates from rural areas like Western Maryland opposed the bill.
The Maryland criminal defense attorneys at the firm of Alpert Schreyer believe all who are charged with committing a crime—even a crime allegedly committed with a gun—deserve an aggressive defense and a fair trial. If you have been charged with commission of a crime while in possession of a gun, call our office at (866) 444-6363 for a confidential case evaluation.