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Maryland Senate Passes Gun Control Bill

The 28-19 vote helps Gov. Martin O'Malley's top legislative priority avoid a conference committee some believed would kill the legislation.

Maryland senators voted Thursday night to approve an amended gun control bill rather than send the legislation to conference committee.

Senators approved the bill by a vote of 28-19 just one day after the House debated the bill for 10 hours over two-days and added 17 amendments to a bill previously approved by the Senate.

The bill was a major component of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s legislative priorities for the 90-day legislative session.

“The fact is, the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 provides no safety,” said Sen. EJ Pipkin, Senate Minority Leader.

The concurrence means that the bill goes to Gov. Martin O’Malley for his signature rather than to a conference committee with just four days left in the session.

Sen. Brian Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, asked legislators to oppose attempts to repeal the House amendments. He said sending the bill to conference committee “would kill the bill.”

The bill bans more than 40 types of guns including the AR-15. The legislation also prohibits persons who are involuntarily committed from owing a gun.

Also included in the bill is a controversial requirement for all future purchasers of regulated firearms to be fingerprinted and licensed. The changes in licensing represent the first time in two decades that any state has attempted to impose new licensing requirements.

Finally, the bill prohibits the possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Supporters said the bill would prevent straw purchases of guns for those who could not otherwise legally purchase one.

Supporters of the bill successfully defeated attempts to remove three House amendments.

The first amendment disqualifies anyone sentenced to probation before judgment for a series of violent crimes including second-degree assault.

Opponents argued that the provision over-ruled judges who handed out the sentences because of extenuating circumstances.

The second amendment contested by gun control opponents provided a way for persons who were involuntarily committed to restore their gun rights and provided blanket civil and criminal liability to mental health professionals who certify patients as safe to own firearms.

The final contested House amendment, the so-called cop killer bullet amendment, would essentially ban the possession of all bullets in the state, according to Sen. J.B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Harford Counties.

Frosh said the bill only bans the possession armor-piercing bullets if they are used in the commission of a crime.

Sanchez April 11, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Time for POLITICIANS to be subject to the same background checks including mental health checks. those MAKING laws should be held to a higher standard than those simply exercising their civil rights.
1ke April 11, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Where have you been getting your caps locked, your anger managed or just plain drying out? Still expecting life to make sense, I see. So sad!
Deborah A Cox April 14, 2013 at 07:32 PM
In the end the only ones that will have guns are bad guys cause they already break the law. The good people of this state will not be able to protect themselves police cannot live in our home and go every where with us. So I remain scared to death.
JW June 08, 2013 at 01:24 PM
"The Gun Nutters even had to bus people in from out of state and they didn't even come close to the numbers they claimed." Yeah, like they bused in people dressed in Sherriff's uniforms that spoke AGAINST the bill. Look, all you liberal fools think the police are there to save you when harm comes your way. If you think that you are, a FOOL. So, now you and your Wife just finished dinner and a movie, your going to your car, it's dark, your in a parking garage and a person confronts you with a knife, he wants not only your wallet but your wife and your SUV. Now you have two choices, 1. A phone to call the police 2. Or a trained, certified good guy with a gun? Which would you chose? Let's face it, all this dog and pony show was about for Mr. O'Malley adding a check to his list for being a Presidential candidate, which will never see the light of day. His luck, he is fortunate to being so close to where the money is (DC) which gives him a huge bonus and buffer to carry on his way wacko agendas. Is there anyone with the slightest drop of common sense anymore?
Chuck Burton June 08, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Remember, people, police are usually pretty good at solving a crime AFTER it's happened. It's only sheer luck if they are there to PREVENT a crime from occurring. That is up to you.

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