BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gun legislation in Annapolis continues to stir up debate as advocates for a bill requiring background checks for people purchasing rifles and shotguns are making their case with a powerful voice.
It’s a hot-button issue that has been argued in the General Assembly before.
A man, armed with a shotgun stormed the newsroom of the Capital Gazette June 28, killing 5 journalists. One of them was writer and author, John McNamara, husband to Andrea Chamblee.
“My husband was one of the journalists shot in Annapolis and so many people are rising to my aid,” said Chamblee.
She became a rising voice for gun legislation in this 2019 General Assembly session.
“He looked really tired when he went out the door that day,” said Chamblee. “I asked him if he could work from home but he said no.”
The weapon used in the Capital shooting was a shotgun.
“I do know that he was able to kill four people,” said Chamblee. “I don’t think any of them with just one shot and he still had 3 left over to shoot my husband.
The weapon was a legally purchased firearm but gun control advocates want to restrict private sales of shotguns and rifles as well, requiring background checks through licensed dealers.
Opponents said that it’s an unnecessary burden for farmers and hunters.
According to 2017 FBI crime statistics, there were 475 murders in Maryland. Three-hundred-and-seventy were committed with firearms, 339 were handguns but just 5 were committed with rifles and 3 with shotguns.
“This was not a hunting rifle,” said Chamblee. “unless you acknowledge that Jerrod Ramos was hunting journalists.
At a hearing on a similar bill in 2017, the guns rights group Maryland Shall Issue testified it was unthinking and unreasoning gun control purely for the sake of gun control.