The first thing gun advocates do when real solutions to reduce gun violence are proposed is to change the messaging of the discussion into something that will scare people. Using the terminology “Gun Control” is out of date and disingenuous to what The Fire Arm Safety Act is about. Licensing the purchase of guns is "Criminal Control" not gun control. If you are a law abiding citizen this will not prevent you from buying a handgun, a shotgun or a hunting rifle. These purchases are protected by the Second Amendment as many of you will tell me if I didn't spell it out here. This law does not attempt to change that. The case for gun policy reforms may be found here.
We can require a license to purchase a handgun with appropriate age restrictions, mandatory safety training and fingerprinting, in addition to the current background check done by the Maryland State Police without taking any law abiding citizen’s gun. Research indicates that a license-to-purchase requirement is associated with significantly lower levels of intrastate gun trafficking. A license to purchase would not be required for hunting rifles and shotguns. Why would hunters fight this proposal? This proposal is meant to reduce the number of people who should not possess a gun from pursuing that acquisition in the first place.
Seven states now require fingerprinting before a firearm purchase: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. Straw purchases are the greatest source of guns that are used in the killing of human beings. It sounds reasonable to say “criminals will get gun no matter what the law is." The truth is, right now, some law abiding citizens are enticed into buying guns for those who should not have them because the straw buyer is offered an amount of money they cannot refuse. When the buyer is now required to go to the police station, go through a background check and fingerprinted it has been proven that the number of these kinds of guns become far less available on the street.
Limit Magazine Capacity to 10 Rounds. Maryland currently allows up to 20 rounds per magazine. The proposed legislation would reduce the allowable magazine capacity from 20 rounds to 10. By limiting the magazine capacity a rampage may be stopped sooner than it might otherwise be. The Aurora Movie Theater shooter was stopped while he was changing magazines. If only one person is not killed because of the enactment of this legislative act then it would be worth it. This will save lives.
Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons designed to kill and inflict the maximum amount of human carnage. Maryland currently bans only 15 enumerated assault pistols, but allows for the sale and possession of high-capacity, military weapons designed to kill. MPGV supports efforts to ban these assault weapons that are designed for the battlefield and have no place in our society.
And finally SB281 will provide the Maryland State Police with the authority to regulate firearm dealers and require that a licensed dealer keep records of all receipts, sales, and other dispositions of firearms affected in connection with the dealer’s business.
I take this proposed law very seriously. When a legislator whines about a $100 gun license fee I will remind him that I have lived the last 26 years of my life without my 17 year old brother who was killed by a hand gun because the parent of the shooter didn't have the gun locked away from the that child. Its time we took steps to reduce gun violence!