O'Malley Signs Gun Control Bill into Law

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Martin O'Malley signed hundreds of bills signed into law Thursday in Annapolis. One of the most controversial ones was the gun control package.

"We want people to know that what the governor and general assembly just enacted is a smart, reasonable law that will save lives," says Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

The law is one of the strictest gun-control measures in the nation.

"I think it's an important piece of legislation that is going to help in getting our streets safer and get straw purchases really tightened down so that we can get those guns off our streets," says Del. Luke Clippinger (D - Baltimore City), who co-sponsored the bill.

The law bans nearly all semi-automatic rifles, limits magazines to 10 rounds, and requires new gun buyers to get fingerprinted and licensed.

However, the gun control battle isn't over. The National Rifle Association may file a lawsuit challenging whether the law is constitutional, and it's not popular with most Western Maryland lawmakers as well.

"This is where I think the governor was trying to make a political statement in his national campaign where he's trying to outCuomo Governor Cuomo of New York," says Sen. David Brinkley, (R) - Frederick County.

Supporters plan to launch television ads within the next few days to build support for the law.

"Sixty-Eight percent of gun owners support fingerprint licensing of handgun purchasers," DeMarco says. "We want the people of Maryland to understand that."

"He's [O'Malley] making criminals out of law abiding citizens," Brinkley says. "He ignored an opportunity to really do something on mental health and those people who shouldn't have access to weaponry."

The law goes into effect on October 1st, but controversy is far from over between the NRA and a Maryland resident, who has begun collecting signatures for a petition drive.

You can read the entire gun control law by clicking here.

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