Maryland governor proposes massive state-law gun restrictions


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal:
1. ban assault weapons
2. restrict visitor access to schools
3. force prospective gun owners to provide fingerprints to state police
complete a hands-on weapon-familiarization and gun-safety course
undergo a background check to be licensed
4. create 7-day waiting period
5. give police new authority to take guns away from state residents ruled mentally incompetent — whether for psychiatric disorders or for old age
6. ban guns from psychiatric patients subject to civil commitment if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others
7. create two additional prohibited mental-health categories: people under guardianship who can’t care for themselves or manage their affairs and those who have been civilly committed, if a judge finds evidence that they are a danger.
8. establish a 24-hour hotline for people to report a family member or friend who they think is suffering a sudden mental decline in late adolescence.

Maryland is already restrictive:
1. all private transfers of guns must be handled through a licensed dealer
2 purchasers must watch a safety video
3. gun purchases are limited to one per 30-day period
4. some semi-automatic pistols are outlawed

O’Malley had considered extending the licensing requirement to the state’s hundreds of thousands of current gun owners. But he backed off of that controversial measure, which would have faced strong opposition from even some Democrats.

O’Malley’s plan will omit armed guards in schools. Instead, he proposes spending $25 million in the coming year to begin to tighten physical security at the state’s public schools, including using uniform video surveillance, automatically locking doors, and using shatterproof glass and buzzer entrance systems.