Maryland passes tough gun control law, something Congress won’t do

by Catherine Poe, Washington Times Communities  |  published on April 6, 2013

Unlike Congress that hasn’t the will, the guts or the votes to do so, Maryland last night passed a tough, no nonsense gun control law, handing Governor Martin O’Malley a significant victory.

Unlike Connecticut and Colorado, which saw massacres happen within their own states, Maryland had no such impetus to act, except its outrage at what is happening in this country, especially after the slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Conn.

While Maryland is a Democratically controlled state, it also boosts a significant rural population in the mountain region of the west and the farmlands on the Eastern Shore, home to hunters and gun advocates. In fact, the gun advocates are not only organized, but they are extremely strong in Maryland. Both at their rallies in Annapolis and testifying before the Maryland legislative hearings, gun rights supporters out-numbered the gun control advocates by ten to one.

The Republican lawmakers stood unanimously against the bill, trying all sorts of legislative tactics to water it down and insisting that Maryland already had some of the strictest gun restrictions in the nation. The gun lobby, the NRA and the National Association for Gun Rights ratcheted up their campaign to stop the legislation with money and hard lobbying.

To little avail. Even the threat by gun manufacturer Berretta USA that it would pull their factory out of Maryland and with it 400 jobs if O’Malley’s gun control proposal passed, the Maryland legislature held firm.

In the end, the Maryland legislators did what Congress cannot seem to do because unlike Congress, which is held hostage by the threat of a Republican filibuster and frightened Red state Democrats, creating legislative hell and a do-less-than-nothing Congress, Maryland could schedule straight up or down votes.

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