The race to be the state with the country’s
toughest most unconstitutional gun laws continues. “Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Monday broad details of a plan that would give Maryland among the nation’s strictest gun laws,” baltimoresun.com reports. “No one could buy a handgun without first passing a training course and providing fingerprints to a police database. That licensing provision, expected to be controversial in Annapolis, is the most sweeping change in a proposal that also includes a ban on the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, which were used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that has sparked a national debate on gun control.” As was a Honda Civic. Anyway, as Toots and the Maytals sang, Mr. O’Malley feels a sickness . . .
“There is a sickness in this country, and that sickness is gun violence,” O’Malley said, repeating a phrase he has used in the weeks since the December shooting that killed 20 children. “Gun violence is truly a public health issue,” he said.
And here’s the cure, allegedly.
Under the governor’s licensing proposal, any handgun purchaser would need a Maryland State Police license granted only after fingerprinting, a more extensive background check than currently required, and completion of a gun class like those taught across the country by the National Rifle Association.
See what he did there? Looks like the Governor got the memo about divide and conquer.
Currently, “we don’t have any training requirements,” said Stacy A. Mayer, O’Malley’s chief legislative officer. “People can walk out of the store not necessarily knowing where the safety is.”
In Rhode Island, buyers have to sign a sheet of paper attesting to the fact that the gun dealer demonstrated the safety features of the firearm. That makes all the difference for gun safety. [/sarcasm] Still, it ain’t registration. Yet.
Maryland legislators are competing with the Governor to see who can create the most draconian gun laws.
One plan would require Maryland gun owners to buy liability insurance similar to the requirement for cars. The proposal by Montgomery County state Sen. Jamie Raskin is designed to harness market forces to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people the same way the cost of car insurance can keep bad drivers off the road. Baltimore Del. Jon Cardin has proposed a bullet tax and $25 gun registration fee, cash that would go to improving mental health services.
Not to be outdone.
O’Malley vowed to ban the sale of “military assault weapons that have no place on our streets” and to limit the size of gun magazines to prevent mass shootings. Maryland already limits magazines to 20 bullets, and gun-control advocates hope to halve that.
Or more. Whether they succeed or fail, the “Free State” doesn’t look so free right about now.