Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Maryland lawmakers unveil a plan for gun control.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains how far-reaching some of the proposed changes could be.
These are bills that have been tried and failed before. But now the sponsors believe that, while the bills haven’t changed, the lawmakers have.
Confronting the issue head-on.
“Every day at the beginning of the day, the first email I open is the overnight printout of the number of persons in our state who were murdered overnight,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
But it is the school shooting in Connecticut that’s prompting Maryland lawmakers to move from debate to decisions.
“Before, the question was that a lot of legislators were afraid what might happen to them politically if they acted. Now politicians are afraid of what’s going to happen if they don’t act,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin, (D) Montgomery County.
Legislation proposed for 2013 includes an assault weapons ban, twice introduced, twice failed. Other bills that will reappear crack down on the records and reporting of gun shops, set new limits on who can carry and where and downsize the maximum rounds of ammo in a magazine.
“The gun shop bill passed the Senate last year and failed in the House and I’m not sure the others have gotten out of committee in recent years but we think this is the year it’ll happen,” said Senator Brian Frosh.
Baltimore Senators Lisa Gladden and Bill Ferguson are both sponsoring new legislation.
The governor said Tuesday his office is likely to submit a bill as well.
The bill to ban assault weapons lists 45 firearms that would be illegal to possess or transport in Maryland.