Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. opposes a statewide ban on the sale of assault-style weapons, reports the Washington Post. Democratic leaders in the state legislature want to implement the measure before a federal ban on the firearms expires this year. “My thoughts have always been to direct resources, time, attention and money to bad guys who have illegal guns and obviously the guns that cause crime,” Ehrlich said yesterday. “We devote our time, money and resources to things that work, not things that are politically correct.”
With few signs that the Republican-controlled Congress plans to extend the federal ban on 19 such weapons beyond its Sept. 13 expiration date, Democratic lawmakers want to keep the prohibition ban in place in Maryland. Their bill would expand the definition of assault weapon from the 19 weapons included in the federal ban to 45 in Maryland. Already, anyone purchasing those 45 guns in Maryland is subject to a seven-day waiting period and a background check. The state banned 15 types of assault pistols in 1994. “If we don’t act, on September 14 you are going to be able to buy an AK-47 again or an Uzi or a street sweeper [shotgun] because Congress is not going to act,” said Robert J. Garagiola, the lead sponsor in the Senate.