ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- A gun control measure backed by the governor has made it through the state Senate and supporters say it will make Maryland's already strong weapons laws some of the toughest in the nation. Opponents decried the bill as an erosion of Second Amendment rights.
The measure, which passed 28 to 19, 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 House of Delegates will work on the bill.
Other parts of the bill address concerns about firearms access for people with mental illnesses. It would prohibit anyone who has been involuntarily committed due to mental illness from possessing a firearm. The bill, which the Senate spent most of the week on, also would ban assault weapons and limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. And it would require handgun purchasers to take a hands-on safety course.
Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed the bill in the aftermath of December's massacre at a Newtown, Conn., school, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.
The bill would make $25 million available for schools to invest in security measures such as locks, cameras and buzzer entrance systems.