J.B. Wogan is a Governing staff writer.E-mail: email@example.com
Another Democratic governor will push to pass new gun-violence reduction laws this year.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has announced his legislative agenda for gun control includes a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. “There is a sickness in this country and that sickness is gun violence,” O’Malley said at a gun policy summit at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Jan. 14. “Perhaps there is no way to completely prevent the next Newtown tragedy, but then again maybe there is.”
Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out an aggressive seven-point strategy, including a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as a requirement for background checks on all private gun sales -- including over the Internet.
Both men are national figures in the Democratic party frequently cited as possible presidential candidates in 2016.
O’Malley also said he would recommend reforms to Maryland’s mental health services, such as more timely data sharing with law enforcement, greater investments in treatment and early intervention for serious mental illness. Finally, he said he would focus on improving safety of school facilities by creating a center for school and law enforcement officials to collaborate.
Although O’Malley’s plans for new gun-control measures became official at the Baltimore event, The Washington Post first reported his intentions in its Jan. 14 morning paper, using anonymous sources within the governor’s administration. The Post’s article listed more detailed policies than O’Malley’s public announcement:
On high-capacity magazines, O’Malley’s plan would halve to 10 the number of rounds that magazines would be allowed to hold in Maryland. It places a blanket ban on all assault weapons.
The Maryland State Police would issue licenses for future gun sales, which would require purchasers to submit fingerprints, except in the case of buying hunting rifles and shotguns. The license would be in addition to background checks at the time of purchase.
And on public school security, the state would spend $25 million on uniform video surveillance, automatically locking doors, and using shatterproof glass and buzzer entrance systems.