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The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 is now headed to Governor O'Malley for his signature. This Act
will ban magazines that hold more than 10 bullets and will ban 45 types of semiautomatic rifles, classifying them as assault weapons. It will also require those seeking to buy any gun other than a hunting rifle or shotgun to obtain a license, a process that will include submitting fingerprints to police, passing classroom and firing-range training and undergoing more extensive background checks.
In February, the Maryland Senate passed the gun control bill. However, last week two committees of the Maryland House of Delegates made some changes to the Senate Bill. In my opinion these changes weakened the bill (for example the House Bill narrowed the definition of what is considered to be an assault weapon). Yesterday, the House of Delegates rolled back some of the changes made by the two House Committees and passed their version of the bill by a vote of 78 to 61.
Today, the Maryland Senate faced a choice. Pass the weaker House Bill as is, or take the matter to a conference committee whose job it would be to reconcile the two bills quickly prior to the end of the legislative session on Monday. Rather than risking the chance that the matter could not be worked out by the end of the session, the Maryland Senate chose to pass the House Bill. Today, the Senate passed the House Bill by a vote of 28 to 19, which means that the bill is now headed to Governor O'Malley for his signature. Governor O'Malley is expected to sign the bill.
Originally posted to night cat on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:04 PM PDT.