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Top Md. Law Enforcement Officials Back Gov. O’Malley’s Gun Control Bill

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Top law enforcement officers back Governor O’Malley’s gun control legislation.

Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest on a controversial issue that could go down to the wire.

Strong arguments in favor, from a woman whose father was a victim.

“It’s been 47 years and there’s still a hole in my heart,” said Joyce Lipman.

Strong arguments against, from a woman whose mother was a victim.

“My mother was shot in a robbery when I was 16 years old,” she said.

Marylanders take a stand on arms in Annapolis.

“I’m here to help protect my Second Amendment rights,” said Janice Hunt.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson stood with Lt. Governor Anthony Brown outside the State House Thursday morning to urge passage of a gun policy that bans assault weapons, limits magazines to 10 rounds and requires fingerprinting and training.

“Certainly requiring a four-hour course to possess a weapon is not unreasonable,” said Johnson.

“We have people losing lives, we have people dying, we have children dying. We have a moral imperative to take a courageous stance,” said Batts.

But not all law enforcement in the state is backing the bill.

“Those who are going to commit crimes are going to continue to commit crimes. Passing this Senate bill 281, House bill 294 will do absolutely nothing to stem the flow, suppress the flow or curb the flow of gun violence here in the state of Maryland. Nothing at all,” said Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

Lawmakers are still working on it.

“We continue to be optimistic and confident that we’ll get something done,” said Brown.

The full House has yet to take action on the bill. It’s in the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committees. The Senate passed an amended version on Feb. 28.

The General Assembly has until midnight April 8, sine die, to pass any legislation.

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