ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a gun-control measure on Thursday to give Maryland some of the nation’s tightest gun laws and the National Rifle Association plans to challenge it in court.
Part of the law requires people to submit fingerprints to the state police to get a license to buy a handgun.
“States with similar licensing provisions have substantially lower gun death rates than states that do not, so if we want better results we have to make better choices, and this legislation is part of that series of the better choices that we are making,” O’Malley said.
The other states include New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Hawaii.
O’Malley, a Democrat, proposed the bill in January in response to the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
Opponents are backing the NRA’s plans to file a lawsuit. Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County has led petition drives to put legislation on the ballot for voters to decide in recent years. He has announced he supports court action rather than trying to overturn the law in a referendum.