ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Capitol Police say thousands are expected to attend gun control rallies in Annapolis.
And police say that is prompting them to close some streets around the State House on Friday.
Police say Bladen Street and College Avenue will be closed beginning at 8 a.m. and are expected to remain closed for most of the day. And they are advising motorists to be prepared for traffic congestion and delays.
A gun-control measure passed the state Senate on a 28-19 vote Thursday and a hearing is scheduled Friday in the House of Delegates. The measure has a licensing requirement for handgun buyers to submit fingerprints to state police. The provision is intended to reduce the number of guns purchased by a friend or family member of someone who is not allowed to own a gun.
The legislation, which has been proposed by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, also has elements to address concerns about firearms access for people with mental illnesses. It prohibits anyone who has been involuntarily committed due to mental illness from possessing a firearm.
The bill also bans assault weapons, as a federal assault weapon ban did before expiring in 2004.