Md. Senate Passes Gun Control Bill - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Senate Passes Gun Control Bill

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(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)
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    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Here's how members of the Maryland Senate voted Thursday on a gun control bill to ban assault weapons, require fingerprinting for licenses to own handguns and other measures. TheMore
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- A gun control measure backed by the governor has made it through the state Senate and supporters say it will make Maryland's already strong weapons laws some of the toughest in the nation. Opponents decried the bill as an erosion of Second Amendment rights.
 
The measure, which passed 28 to 19, has a licensing requirement for handgun buyers to submit fingerprints to state police. The provision is intended to reduce the number of guns purchased by a friend or family member of someone who is not allowed to own a gun.
 
The House of Delegates will work on the bill.
 
Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, D-Baltimore, said that while much of the debate has focused on preventing mass shootings that have occurred in other parts of the country, his community struggles with gun violence on a regular basis.
 
"You can get a gun quicker than you can get an apple or orange in my community," McFadden said. "It's outrageous. We have to start somewhere. We have to do something."
 
Opponents, however, said the measure will only hamper law-abiding citizens.
 
"My constituents think this bill will adversely affect them a lot more than it will the criminals," said Sen. Bryan Simonaire, R-Anne Arundel.
 
Other parts of the bill address concerns about firearms access for people with mental illnesses. It would prohibit anyone who has been involuntarily committed due to mental illness from possessing a firearm. The bill, which the Senate spent most of the week on, also would ban assault weapons and limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. And it would require handgun purchasers to take a hands-on safety course.
 
Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed the bill in the aftermath of December's massacre at a Newtown, Conn., school, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.
 
The bill would make $25 million available for schools to invest in security measures such as locks, cameras and buzzer entrance systems.

 

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