BALTIMORE STANDING TOGETHER: WJZ, The Baltimore Sun & the University of Baltimore will hold town hall meetings to talk about the issues our city is facing. City leaders will share their plans & answer your questions. Be Heard Baltimore. CLICK HERE to contact us with your questions.
By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Democrats announced a pair of measures Thursday that they say will help protect residents from gun violence, but Gov. Larry Hogan said “neither one of them is very serious” and pushed his own crime-fighting proposals.

One of the measures would ban bump stocks, devices that can increase a semi-automatic rifle’s firing rate to nearly fully automatic. Bump stocks were used in the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year that killed 58 people and wounded more than 800.

Del. David Moon, a Montgomery County Democrat sponsoring the bill, described it as a way of closing a loophole in the state’s sweeping gun-control law approved several years ago that banned 45 assault weapons.

“I’m glad to say we have a majority of the Maryland House of Delegates sponsoring this legislation, so I have high hopes for its passage,” Moon said at a news conference with other Democrats.

Another bill would repeal the state’s Handgun Permit Review Board and turn its functions over to administrative law judges. The five-member board is designed to review Maryland State Police decisions on wear and carry permits. Board members are appointed by the governor, but critics say the decisions shouldn’t be left to politically appointed board members.

“I’ve been distressed by the number of people — the part-time political people — who have been put on this board who don’t have the same level of standards and legal expertise that an administrative law judge would have,” said Sen. Richard Madaleno, a Montgomery County Democrat who is sponsoring the bill.

Hogan, a Republican, said around the time of the Las Vegas shooting that he would be willing to take a look at a bill eliminating bump stocks, but he questioned why the legislature would want to repeal the board.

“I don’t think anyone in the history of our state has ever been killed with a bump stock,” Hogan said. “I’m not sure the people that either have or don’t have their handguns approved by the Handgun Permit Review Board are the ones that are responsible for most of the killing in our state.”

Instead, the governor took the opportunity to push crime-fighting bills he is sponsoring this session. They include tougher mandatory minimum sentences for violent criminals who use guns to commit crimes. He’s also backing a truth-in-sentencing bill that would require repeat violent criminals to serve their full sentences without the possibility of suspension, parole or probation.

“I mean, look, Maryland’s got the toughest gun laws in the country,” Hogan said. “People are still being murdered in our streets every day, so we can talk about new additional things that they want to take a look at, but neither one of them is very serious.”

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
CBS All Access
Download Our App

Watch & Listen LIVE