ANNAPOLIS – With Senate passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 Thursday evening, Maryland is one Gov. Martin O’Malley signature away from adopting some of the country’s strictest gun control laws.
The Senate approved House amendments 28-19 after an approximately two-hour debate on the chamber floor.
The legislation will ban the purchase of assault rifles, reduce firearm access by the mentally ill, require safety training and the submission of fingerprints before the purchase of a handgun, and increase penalties for violent crimes committed with “cop killer bullets.”
“This bill will save lives,” said Sen. Brian E. Frosh, D-Montgomery.
Not everyone in the Senate agreed.
Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Upper Shore said the bill fails to make streets and schools safer and “will not stand up to court challenge.”