Maryland House passes gun-control bill

by Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun  |  published on April 5, 2013

The House of Delegates voted Wednesday to give Maryland one of the toughest gun laws in the nation, passing a bill that would ban the sale of assault-type weapons, set a 10-bullet limit on magazines and require fingerprints and a license to buy a handgun.

Delegates altered the Senate’s bill during more than 10 hours of emotional floor debate that lasted over two days. Key lawmakers said they expect the differences to be resolved quickly and the legislation sent to Gov. Martin O’Malley for his promised signature.

After the 78-61 vote, O’Malley said the House strengthened his proposal, which he has called his top legislative priority of the session.

“Maryland has stood up as a state to say that this is not acceptable and that military assault weapons have no place in a civil society,” O’Malley said.

The bill would be among the most restrictive gun measures passed by a state legislature since lawmakers across the country began considering new laws in the wake of the December shooting that killed 27 at a Connecticut elementary school. Maryland’s move to stricter gun laws comes as federal efforts have stalled.

Once the measure is signed into law, Maryland would become one of five states to require a license and training to buy a handgun. It would be one of a handful of states that ban the sale of military-style assault rifles. Gun owners would be required to report lost weapons to police

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