Governor Martin O’Malley took to the state capital to testify for his proposals that would ban assault weapons and limit magazine capacities.
The Governor told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, “We choose to take on gun violence because life is precious.”
As the Democrat took the witness stand the National Rifle Association and conservative lawmakers drew hundreds of anti-gun control protests to a raucous rally denouncing the proposals.
Senator Brian Frosh also heard testimony measures that would make it more difficult for – what are known as – straw purchasers to buy weapons on behalf of criminals.
Other legislation would strengthen handgun licensing requirements, up penalties for using armor-piercing ammunition during the commission of a crime and cut ammunition capacity from 20 to 10.
During the committee hearing Tom Morris, a senior correspondent for the television program America’s Most Wanted, urged lawmakers to reject the legislation.