Cumberland Times-News

Local News

March 29, 2013

Md. House panels OK gun-control bill

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers on two panels voted Friday night to advance a gun-control measure that is a top priority of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s legislative agenda, making some changes but leaving intact the most significant provisions.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Health and Government Operations Committee passed the bill after a voting session that lasted all afternoon and into the evening. The vote in each committee was 27-18, reflecting the Democratic majority in both chambers.

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates to consider next week, as the Maryland General Assembly heads toward its scheduled April 8 adjournment.

Democratic lawmakers mostly rejected a variety of proposed changes offered by Republicans. In the end, the panels left intact a requirement for future handgun buyers to submit fingerprints to the state police, a ban on assault weapons and limiting magazine rounds to 10 bullets.

“The fact of the matter is we’re going to have a ban on magazines with more than 10 bullets and we have a ban on the future sale of these weapons and we have fingerprint licensing. That is substantial,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

Opponents said the measure cut deep into Second Amendment rights, even with some changes that Republicans succeeded in getting through for gun dealers and manufacturers.

“If someone is hitting you with a baseball bat, do you really care if they’re hitting with an aluminum bat or a wooden bat? They’re still hitting you with a baseball bat,” said Shannon Alford, the Maryland liaison to the National Rifle Association. “It’s the difference between an aluminum bat and a wooden bat.”

The two committees went to work Friday after the bill had stalled for weeks amid talks about changing part of the measure that bans assault weapons. Some lawmakers had misgivings about banning all of the assault weapons included in the measure approved by the Senate just over a month ago. However, the guns remained in the ban after Friday night’s vote.

The measure would allow people who already own the weapons to keep them.

Delegate Luiz Simmons, D-Montgomery, Simmons failed to strip out an amendment allowing people to keep an assault weapon affected by the ban, if they place an order before Oct. 1, 2013.

“This bill, if we continue to allow them to be grandfathered in, will take a generation to have any effect,” Simmons said.

The legislation has drawn large numbers of opponents during previous hearings, rallies and votes. Opponents returned again Friday and watched in an overflow room.

O’Malley, a Democrat, proposed the measure 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.

Text Only
Local News
  • 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

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014