Rally Calls for Stricter Gun Laws, State Senators Disagree - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rally Calls for Stricter Gun Laws, Republican State Senators Disagree

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 5:28 PM Updated:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Chanting in unison and applauding with signs in hand, people met in front of the State House in Annapolis on Wednesday to let lawmakers know they wanted change.

The group of more than 30 demanded lawmakers make Maryland's gun laws even tougher, making it harder for people to access things like assault rifles.

"This is beyond urgent. It's ridiculous we're still having this conversation," said Maura Dunnigan, who attended the rally.

Dunnigan, whose son goes to Salisbury University, says she worries over guns making their way to school campuses.

"That idea is frightening," Dunnigan said.

But tighter gun laws are not currently on the agenda, according to all 13 of Maryland's Republican senators. 

The lawmakers are sponsoring Senate Bill 908, removing a ban on semi-automatic rifles, including those used in the recent Florida school shooting.

"Taking away the guns today is not going to solve one thing," said Republican state Sen. Addie Eckardt.

Eckardt argues tighter laws will not stop guns from getting into the wrong hands - only infringing on constitutional rights.

She says it's a problem much deeper than that.

"We can't legislate away guns. We can't legislate away substances, but we can create a culture of safety," Eckardt said.

Eckardt says a mix of education, intervention and prevention could keep gun violence numbers down.

People like Dunnigan say they want that too, but continue to press lawmakers to stop gun violence by first stopping guns.

"How can we value guns over lives?" Dunnigan said.

Both the ralliers and lawmakers agree - something must be done to end gun violence, but they disagree on how to tackle it.

Eckardt says Senate Bill 908 to legalize semi-automatic rifles in Maryland will likely not be acted on this year, especially in light of the Florida school shooting.



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