By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds of NRA and Second Amendment rights supporters packed Lawyers’ Mall in Annapolis Tuesday to protest Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposed new gun regulations.

Pat Warren has more.

More than 1,300 people signed up to raise their objections last week in a House joint committee hearing Friday. They returned to Annapolis Tuesday to testify for and against 23 gun bills offered by House Delegates related to firearms possession and regulation.

“I don’t care if you’re Democrat, Republican or what you are,” said Steve Sanders of Anne Arundel County. “If they can take away one right, what makes you think they can’t take them all away?”

Cynthia Firman of Howard County says her mother was shot by a robber with an unregistered gun, but she still supports gun rights.

“I never wanted to do what they are trying to do with these bills, ever. I never want to take the guns away,” she said.

Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County’s state’s attorney, testified in favor of the governor’s gun legislation last week.

“We’re not taking anybody’s guns away. We’re not taking anybody’s guns away and let’s say it one more time: we’re not taking anyone’s guns away,” he told the Judiciary and Health and Government Operations committees on Friday.

Gun control supporters joined Governor O’Malley Friday in calling for new regulations. The Maryland Firearms Safety Act requires licensing, training and fingerprinting in order to legally own a gun in the state. The governor’s bill also bans assault-style weapons and magazines with more than 10 rounds.

“If we want better results, we have to make better choices,” O’Malley told the crowd gathered on Lawyers’ Mall.

But those choices differ.

Senate Majority Leader E.J. Pipkin said the governor’s proposals do not address gun crime.

“When they turn around to you and say, `Well, we have to do something,’ why can’t we do something smart?” Pipkin asked the crowd.

Second Amendment supporters say they will be back Wednesday and can be expected to pack the gallery for whatever bills come to the House floor.

The Senate passed the governor’s bill last week but is taking up additional gun bills in committee Wednesday.


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