By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — More than a thousand Marylanders arrive in Annapolis to rally for and against Governor O’Malley’s gun control legislation.

Political reporter Pat Warren has both sides of this highly controversial issue.

A crowd of gun control supporters pack Lawyers’ Mall. Joyce Lipman lost her father to gun violence.

“My father owned a small business in D.C., and in 1966 the older brothers of one of their employees came in with guns and killed him,” she said.

Hundreds of gun advocates signed up to testify against the bill. Doug Slacum is number 427a–the “a” means “against.”

“They need to address the criminal side of it. Maryland has some of the strictest laws in the United States right now to buy a gun,” he said.

The rally, though smaller than that of the NRA supporters earlier this month, had the backing of a faith and community-based coalition and a governor who has a track record of getting his legislation approved.

“We are here citizens, we are parents, we are neighbors, we are people of faith, we are people of hope and we are people who believe that we can make tomorrow safer for our children,” said Governor O’Malley.

Two House committees heard testimony in a joint session Friday. The bill requires licensing, fingerprinting and firearms training for anyone who wants to own a handgun. It also bans assault-type weapons and limits magazines to 10 rounds.

“I think common sense has been spoken of many times and if we can’t convince our government to do common sense things, we have bigger problems than that,” said Don Moldover.

“All they want to do is make guns illegal. They know they can’t do that, they just can’t say ‘it’s illegal’ so what they’re going to do is they’re going to make it impossible for anybody to get a gun,” said Drew Raymond.

The bill passed the Senate Thursday.

The committees are expected to vote on the bill next week.

The bill is expected to pass the committee and go to the full House for debate.


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