Tough MD Gun Bill Nears Passage, Including License to Buy Firearms


The Maryland House of Delegates passed what would be among the nation's most restrictive gun-control measures yesterday, voting to require fingerprinting of gun buyers, new limits on firearm purchases by the mentally ill, and bans on assault weapons and on magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, the Washington Post reports. The 78 to 61 vote handed Gov. Martin O'Malley a major victory as Maryland joins the ranks of Democratic-leaning states passing broad gun-control restrictions in response to the December school shootings in Connecticut. The bill now returns to the state Senate, which passed a substantially similar version of the legislation last month. Amid legislative efforts nationally, Maryland's is the only package whose new requirements would force gun buyers to provide fingerprints and undergo classroom training, target practice, and background checks to obtain a license to buy a firearm. No state had sought to impose a licensing requirement in nearly 20 years. The National Rifle Association criticized the Maryland vote, complaining that licensing and fingerprinting amount to a fundamental infringement of a constitutional right.

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