NRA plans to challenge Maryland gun law

by Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun  |  published on April 11, 2013

National Rifle Association President David Keene said Tuesday that the organization intends to challenge the constitutionality of Maryland’s newly passed gun law, as a conservative group readied plans to try to overturn the law through voter referendum.

Keene said during a radio interview the group will “absolutely” go to the courts.

We are already in court in New York and we will be in court and aiding those in Maryland — and I am myself a Maryland resident — who want to challenge the constitutionality of this and other provisions here in Maryland,” Keene said to the Washington, D.C., station WTOP.

The gun bill approved by the General Assembly last week bans the sale of 45 types of military-style semi-automatic rifles, among other strict provisions. Keene said it is unconstitutional to ban firearms in common use and that the AR-15 is nation’s best-selling rifle.

Meanwhile, a group that successfully petitioned three Maryland laws to referendum last year plans to submit to the state Board of Elections on Wednesday a proposal to put the gun law before voters.

Republican Del. Neil Parrott, founder of, said that while the group has not formally decided to fight the law at the ballot box, it hopes to have a petition ready by next week as a preliminary step. The group would need to gather 55,736 signatures to put an issue on the November 2014 ballot.

The gun law, which Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to sign during a ceremony in May, also limits magazines to 10 bullets and requires a license to buy a handgun. O’Malley told reporters Monday that he expected some of his agenda to be placed before voters.

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