Reporting Derek Valcourt
JESSUP, Md. (WJZ) — Gun advocates say they’ll take their fight against Maryland’s tough new gun laws to a court of law instead of the court of public opinion.
Derek Valcourt has more on what those gun rights groups are planning.
Those groups want the new laws thrown out by judges and not by voter referendum.
Gun rights groups, including the NRA, are taking aim at the tough new gun law Maryland legislators passed this month.
The law bans assault weapons purchases, puts a 10 round limit on magazines and also requires handgun owners to go through fingerprinting, firearms training and licensing and renewal fees.
“And for this bill to say they’re going to tax and license the ability to own a handgun in this state, that’s clearly a violation of the U.S. Constitution. It needs to be overturned in the courts,” said Del. Neil Parrott, Washington County.
Delegate Neil Parrott joined gun rights groups for an announcement Wednesday night that his successful referendum petition organization would focus its efforts on supporting the NRA’s legal challenge to Maryland gun laws, instead of asking voters to decide on the law at the ballot box.
Valcourt: “What’s wrong with having a referendum to challenge this law?”
Del. Parrott: “This is in the Bill of Rights, this is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And so, to take it to the people to vote that just doesn’t make sense.”
Supporters of the new law say the gun groups are taking their challenge to court instead of to voters because public opinion is against them.
“I come from a rural district as well as an urban district and in both sides of my district, urban and rural, there’s strong support for this. Especially among women,” said Mike Miller, Senate President.
For now, the NRA waits on the governor to formally sign the gun law before they’ll take legal action.
Even though some gun rights groups have said they will let the courts decide, it is still possible that the issue could appear on the ballot in 2014 if some other group decides to organize its own referendum petition.