Gov. Martin O'Malley

O’Malley likely to introduce gun legislation

by Annie Linskey and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun  |  published on December 20, 2012

Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tuesday he will likely introduce a gun control package in the coming legislative session and reiterated his opposition to assault weapons like the one used in the Newtown massacre.

The Democratic governor said he has directed staff and key Cabinet members to look at three areas for possible legislation: limiting the type of guns that are allowed in Maryland, restricting access to guns by the mentally ill and looking at ways that the state can make schools safer.

“The likelihood is that there will be a bill from this administration, the details of which we are still working on,” O’Malley said at a briefing with reporters. “I think we have too many guns and I think we have too much killing.”

O’Malley spoke as President Barack Obama announced that he wants to renew the federal ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004. Governors around the country are also examining state-level gun control laws, including Gov. Rick Snyder, the Republican governor of Michigan, who vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed concealed weapons in churches, schools and daycare centers.

The National Rifle Association, the powerful organization that has opposed gun laws, has been silent since the Connecticut school shooting but said Tuesday that it would hold a news conference Friday to “offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

In Maryland, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said he would be receptive to a stronger state gun control law and has spoken with O’Malley about the possibility of a gun package. “These assault weapons, some of them as big as suitcases, belong in Iraq and Afghanistan but not Prince George’s County or Baltimore City,” Miller said.

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