Maryland’s gun laws are about to become among the strictest in the U.S. As reported by Fox News, the new gun control bill received final passage in the Maryland Senate after slight changes to the bill were approved on Wednesday by the House of Delegates. The Senate vote was 28 in favor, 19 opposed. The measure is now on its way to the desk of Governor Martin O’Malley who proposed the new legislation.
The new bill restricts firearms access for the mentally ill, bans 45 types of assault rifles, and limits gun magazine capacity to ten. Those who purchase handguns will be required to submit fingerprints to the state police, making Maryland the first state in almost 20 years to pass such a requirement. Fingerprints are required in only five other states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Hawaii.
Governor O’Malley said the bill’s success demonstrated that the majority of Maryland’s citizens support reducing gun violence through advancing legislation that will save lives.
Opponents of the bill have for the most part come from rural areas of the state, while proponents are from urban areas. Opponents argued that the bill strips citizens of their Second Amendment rights, while proponents believe the requirement to be finger printed will help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Others will be reluctant to purchase guns for those not permitted to own them.
Those individuals who have been involuntarily committed to mental health care facilities will not be permitted to purchase a gun.
At the firm of Alpert Schreyer, our Maryland criminal defense attorneys believe that if you are facing criminal charges, including crimes allegedly committed while in possession of a gun, you deserve a fair trial and to have your Constitutional rights protected. If you have been charged with firearms charges, call us at (866) 444-6363 to schedule a free confidential consultation.