One of the state nicknames for Maryland is the Free State. With the passage of draconian gun control by the Maryland House of Delegates yesterday, that nickname should be called into question. The bill in question, SB 281, now returns to the State Senate for concurrence.
The bill would ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles with cosmetics the proponents don’t like; would require training, a license, and fingerprinting to purchase a handgun; and would ban the sale and transfer of all magazines with greater than 10 round capacity. The bill would also require the registration of all currently possessed “assault pistols” and “assault weapons”. Failure to do so would result in fines and an up to one year prison term. Maryland Shall Issue has an excellent summary of the provisions of the bill here.
The NRA-ILA issued an alert last night urging Marylanders to contact their state senator and Senate President Mike Miller. As they noted, this will be the last chance to stop this legislation. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) has been a major proponent of gun control legislation and will sign this bill if passed by the Senate.
UPDATE: The Maryland Senate gave final approval to the bill yesterday and it has been sent to Gov. Martin O’Malley for his signature. At this point, the only thing that could delay its implementation is if opponents gather enough signatures to get it put on the ballot in November 2014 as a referendum item.