Gun Rights Advocates Target Md. Firearms Safety Act Citing Columbia Mall Tragedy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Maryland’s gun control laws draw hundreds of protesters to Annapolis. They are appealing to lawmakers to amend or repeal the governor’s Firearms Safety Act.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports the protesters point to the shootings at the Mall in Columbia as an example of its flaws.

Gun rights advocates pledge allegiance, first to the flag and then to the Second Amendment.

Their target is the Maryland Firearms Safety Act, and the lawmakers who voted for it.

“We’re coming out to make sure that everybody’s aware that the dragon that got awoken last year is still on patrol,” said Shannon Alford, NRA Maryland liaison.

The shootings at the Mall in Columbia add to the standoff between gun control and gun rights activists.

“Gun control did not save the lives of the people at Columbia Mall,” said Sarah Merkel, Maryland Rifle Association.

During a tour at Domino Sugar last week, Gov. O’Malley said the law cannot prevent all tragedies but that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

“From what I understand, the shooter did attempt to fire off a couple more rounds, and had it been a more lethal type of weapon could have been very much worse,” O’Malley said.

The arguments are expected to heat up as both sides submit bills to alter or eliminate, or toughen, the new laws.

This General Assembly is up for election this year, and gun groups are urging their supporters to use their votes as leverage.

Gun advocates vow to be back when the hearings start later this month.

Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch have each said there will be no gun control repeal this year.

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