Thu April 4, 2013
Gun Control Inches Forward in Maryland and Delaware
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Senate president says the Senate is planning to get to work on a gun-control measure.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced the Senate would hold two sessions Thursday in order to take up the bill.
The Senate passed an earlier version of the bill more than a month ago. The House of Delegates passed it with some changes Wednesday. The Senate still needs to concur with those changes to send the bill to Gov. Martin O'Malley.
The bill, which O'Malley proposed, would ban assault weapons. It also would require people who buy handguns to provide fingerprints.
Some differences passed by the House would require people to report a lost gun within 72 hours and prohibit people with probation before judgment for a violent crime from owning a gun.
It was a misstep that may have caused some damage to the effort to pass gun reform legislation in the state of Delaware.
The bill included a provision to require law-abiding gun owners to register their weapons.
Author of the measure State Senator Robert Marshall said that the gun-control package adding the registration provision was filed in error.
The Wilmington Democrat said it was an early draft and that there had been a miscommunication with State Attorney General Beau Biden’s office.
The state’s top law enforcement official and Governor Jack Markell both back the legislation.
The measure would have outlawed assault weapons and would have grandfathered in those who legally own such weapons at the time of the bill’s enactment.
But the measure included a provision that said those owners would have to show proof of ownership to the Delaware State Police within four months.
The Wilmington News Journal reports that the incident may have hurt at a delicate time in the effort to get 5-gun reform measure.