Reporting Alex DeMetrick
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—A massacre of children propelled it, and now Maryland’s new gun control law is about to go into effect.
Alex DeMetrick reports it rolls out in the shadow of Monday morning’s shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard.
As a bill, it brought more people to Annapolis than any other legislation.
After the Sandy Hook massacre of school children, tougher gun control proposals brought passion from both sides.
“We gotta kill, kill this bill,” said Sen. Nancy Jacobs, (R)-Harford County.
It didn’t happen.
Starting Oct. 1, paperwork and fingerprints will be used for background checks on handgun sales. And no new sales of semi-automatic assault style rifles will be allowed.
“The vast majority of violence takes place with handguns. The significant mass shootings takes place with semi-automatic weapons,” said Del. Michael Busch, House Speaker.
To promote the law’s start, backers are turning to radio ads.
“I’m a minister. I’m a mother. I’m a hunter. I’m a police chief, and I know Maryland’s new gun background and fingerprint checks is one of the best ways to reduce gun violence,” an ad said.
While it was the Sandy Hook massacre that propelled the law, now comes the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard.
“We’re still reacting to yesterday’s news of another senseless act of gun violence in D.C.,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Suspect Aaron Alexis had fired a gun in at least two earlier incidents and had mental health issues–red flags Maryland’s new law might have caught.
“This is a gentleman who had issues, not only violence, but gun violence in his past, and yet he was still able to buy guns to kill the 12 people he killed,” said Jen Pauliukonis, gun law supporter.
The new law will put that to the test, and both sides will watch to see how well it works.
The new gun law is already generating a paperwork backlog for the state.
It also imposes new fees for gun ownership and limits gun magazines to 10 bullets.