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Maryland gun laws and proposed changes


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Published on: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Allen Etzler, Capital News Service

Gov. Martin O’Malley and President Barack Obama unveiled gun control and public safety legislation last week in response to the December school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Here are some current Maryland laws and the proposed legislative changes:

Current Maryland Gun Laws

Handguns:

21 years old to purchase

Sales regulated

No permit necessary to purchase, however permit is required for concealed carry

No license to own required

Registration required through Maryland State Police

Safety training program through Maryland State Police required

Assault Weapons:

Currently 30 guns, and their copies, make up the list of assault rifles

21 years old to purchase

Sales regulated

No permit necessary to purchase

No license to own required

Registration required through Maryland State Police

Safety training program through Maryland State Police required

Ammunition Magazines:

Limited to 20-round capacity

Mental Health:

List of three groups of people labeled as prohibited purchasers of firearms: People who have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors, people with a mental illness, drug and alcohol abusers.

Proposed Changes to Maryland Law

Complete ban on assault rifle sales

Reduce magazine capacity to 10-round maximum

Digital fingerprinting required for handgun ownership; will go into police database

Updated safety training for handgun ownership

Not-yet-detailed expansion of definition of an assault rifle

Require background check for all handgun sales

Continued on Page E-4

Continued from Page E-1

Increased focus on mental health/school safety

Adding people in guardianship, and people who have been court-ordered to a mental treatment facility and are deemed as potentially violent, to the list of prohibited purchasers of firearms

Creation of Maryland center for school safety

Proposed Changes to Federal Law

Increased focus on mental health/school safety

Close background check loopholes that permit private gun transactions to occur without background checks

Ban “straw purchasers,” people who purchase firearms for people who would otherwise not be able to obtain them

Increased investment in local police departments

Reinstate and expand assault weapon ban of 1994-2004

10-round maximum for magazines

Remove restrictions on the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau to enable it to better enforce regulations

Establish annual report on lost and stolen guns

Require all guns be traced from manufacturer to dealer to purchaser

Ban armor-piercing bullets

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