Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 5, 2013

Advocates, opponents consider Md. gun bill

Opposition mulls seeking to put measure on ballot

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland gun-control advocates hope key parts of a comprehensive measure aimed at controlling gun violence will take root in other states grappling to limit gun access by criminals and the mentally ill in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. Opponents are gauging interest in trying to uproot the bill at home by petitioning it to the ballot to give voters a chance to reject it next year.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a Democrat, praised the sweeping provisions a day after final passage. One of the strongest, which opponents repeatedly tried to strip out, requires handgun purchasers to submit fingerprints to the state police. It’s the first time in nearly 20 years a state has approved a fingerprinting licensing law for guns.

Brown said while the bill won’t rid every act of violence from Maryland communities, it will go a long way toward reducing gun crime. The measure also prohibits anyone who is involuntarily committed to a mental health facility from owning a gun. Other key parts of the bill include an assault weapons ban and a limit on magazines to 10 bullets.

“It’s an important step for Maryland, and we certainly hope that other states and the federal government, our Congress, can step up and follow the president’s lead, follow Maryland’s lead and impose stricter licensing requirements,” Brown said.

Delegate Neil Parrott, a Washington County Republican, has led petition drives to put other legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature on the ballot last year.

And he has put together a list of measures this year to get a sense of which ones residents would be most willing to support petitioning to the ballot. Opponents would need to get 55,736 verified signatures to do it. Separate legislation to repeal the death penalty, to allow same-day voter registration and to implement the federal health care overhaul in Maryland also are being weighed for petition drives.  

Last year was the first time in two decades that a measure passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor was successfully petitioned to the ballot.

The petition drives were aided by an online website called MDPetitions.com that made it easier to get signatures in to be verified by the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Nevertheless, voters up-held three laws petitioned to the ballot, including same-sex marriage, in-state tuition for some students who are living in the U.S. illegally and the state’s congressional redistricting map.

Parrott said he learned last year that a referendum effort needs more than just signatures.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military