Sweeping Gun Reform Now On Its Way To Gov. O’Malley’s Desk

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Senate signs off on one of the strictest gun control measures in the nation.

Now it’s one more signature away from law, but opponents won’t give up the fight.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the controversial bill.

The governor calls the bill a comprehensive common sense approach to prevent gun violence. But opponents say it targets law abiding citizens–not criminals.

Some of the strictest gun laws in the country could soon take effect in Maryland. After a Senate vote, the Firearm Safety Act awaits the governor’s signature.

The bill bans certain assault weapons and puts a 10 round limit on magazines. It also requires handgun owners to go through fingerprinting, firearms training and pay licensing and renewal fees.

Some furious gun owners are firing back at lawmakers.

“I just don’t understand what they’re doing here, and apparently neither do they,” said Howard Rhinehart.

“With thousands of people showing up in person and tens of thousands of people calling, we don’t care. We don’t give a damn what you say,” said Scott Cooley.

Proponents say the bill takes necessary steps to prevent violence without trampling the Second Amendment.

“It’s harder to get a license to get a dog than it is to get a gun. There’s something wrong with that,” said Paul Schwartz.

“It makes sense. It will protect public safety. It will save lives,” said Sen. Brian Frosh.

Some opponents of gun reform are now vowing to push the issue to referendum and get it on the ballot in November.

“None of these laws will stop crime. The criminals will just go on getting their guns like they always have,” said Russ Hudson, gun store owner.

Even if it goes to the voters, supporters aren’t worried.

“I’m confident they’ll approve it overwhelmingly,” said Sen. Mike Miller.

Now both sides are promising to continue the fight.

Maryland already requires universal background checks and a seven-day waiting period for anyone buying a gun.

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