A gun-control advocacy group is complaining that a crucial provision in Maryland’s five-year-old gun safety act has been gutted over the past year by a state board that regulates the sale of handguns, reports the Baltimore Sun. The Maryland Handgun Roster Board countered that it has followed the law and based its decisions on expert opinions. With the Responsible Gun Control Act of 2000, Maryland became the first state to require manufacturers to move toward selling handguns with gun locks integrated into the design to prevent accidental deaths.
Gun-control advocates claim the roster board has moved toward favoring gun-rights interests over the past few years and has effectively eroded the law through a relaxed interpretation. The law defines the locks as “integrated mechanical safety devices” that are “built into a handgun.” The authority to interpret the law rests with the 11-member board, including two enforcers, a prosecutor, a National Rifle Association representative, a gun industry member, two engineers, a gun-control advocate and three citizen members. A spokeswoman for a gun-control advocacy group said the board has a “financial interest” in opposing gun control.