Maryland residents have been buying guns in record numbers before a law takes effect Tuesday, with provisions aimed at helping keep guns away from criminals and the mentally ill, strengthening safety training and banning 45 types of assault weapons, says the Associated Press. Opponents decry what they call an ineffective law that will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise Second Amendment rights. They say the state also failed to prepare properly for implementation after Gov. Martin O’Malley pushed the complicated measure through the General Assembly.
Last week, opponents of the restrictions sued in federal court in Baltimore, seeking to block the legislation from taking effect. The court scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on their motion for an order that would temporarily block implementation while the court considers whether to permanently bar Maryland from enforcing the law. The new law will require residents who buy a handgun to be fingerprinted to own a handgun, making Maryland the sixth such state to do so.