Here’s What’s Included in O’Malley’s Gun Control Plan

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Yesterday, Gov. Martin O’Malley laid out several points of a gun control plan that, if passed, would make Maryland one of the strictest gun-law states in the country. 

As one might expect, the plan includes a “ban on the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines” — two issues that have received particular attention since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which used both. But the point that could get some gun owners fuming is the fingerprinting of all handgun owners, who will only be licensed after passing a training course.

The plan also veers toward the holistic, with the promise of a “comprehensive” package that would address school security and the treatment of mental illness, in addition to the conventional gun-control measures.

To the libertarian ear, the fingerprinting provision probably sounds a rather shrill note, but the fact that there are no safety requirements for handgun ownership already on the books absolutely blows my mind. In the words of O’Malley’s chief legislative officer, “People can walk out of the store not necessarily knowing where the safety is.”


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  1. Md requires a pistol safety course video to be viewed and a completion certificate to be issued before a pistol can be sold to citizens of that state, the video instructs proper pistol safety and use and where the safety is!

    • Thanks, Joe! How strange that she would say that, then. Still, it seems that this provision — which the article describes as a mandatory gun “class” like those taught by the NRA — would be more in depth than a video.

      If you’ve viewed the pistol safety course video, would you say it provides adequate safety instruction?

    • Yes, the online video course is administered by the Maryland state police commission website, and it is a basic framework for a prospective pistol owner. This course video must be watched and then a certificate is obtained which must be referenced on all future pistol or so called “regulated firearms” in Maryland. The problem is that most people purchasing pistols and other firearms are enthusiasts, collectors, or work requires them and they know as much or more than any video or in person training course will provide.
      This video training course has been required in Maryland before the first pistol purchase for at least the last 8 or 9 years. O’malleys assistant is flat wrong and disingenuous when she states that there is no licensing or training requirement in place for pistols and “regulated firearms” in this state. There is adequate training and paperwork in place already to make straw purchases and dishonest intentions difficult.
      Look it up for yourself on the mspc website and make your own informed decision.
      These pistol purchases are not only registered with ATF but also the Maryland state police has their own paperwork and background check we must endure, and trust me every possible piece of information about an individual is already known. Fingerprinting is just another unnecessary layer of intrusion into law abiding citizens lives.

  2. And just how much is this training course going to cost and who is going to pay for it and how long will it take to be enrolled in it. Sounds like impediments purposley placed to keep handguns out of the hands of citizens. People that couldn’t afford the course would be out of luck. Sounds like an infringment of the second amendment.

  3. Author, Robert Obrien, of this article obviuosly doesn’t know much about guns. For those that are interested in facts, I highly suggest you research exactly what the definition of assault weapons are. I am a retired sky-martial for 26 years. I am retired from the Air Force and also retired from law enforcement. People need to do their research. Is an AR-15 not an assault rifle? Does the “AR” in AR-15 not stand for “assault rifle”? It doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t mean “automatic rifle” either, as many might think. AR actually stands for ArmaLite rifle, which is the company that first developed it in the 1950s. The crux of this proposed legislation from the Gov. is gun registration. Registration clearly flies in the face of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. The 2nd Amendment does not discuss “hunting” or “home protection”. However, it speaks of a citizen milita that have a “specified right” to maintain a Free State from tyranny and opression. If the perceived opressor knows where the guns are, it renders the 2nd Amendment to meaninglessness. Well, how could that possibly happen? Ask the Syrians people whose government just slaughtered 60,000 of their people. Ask yourself; if African American’s would have had guns, would there have been slavery? Or if the Jews would have had guns, would they have ever allolwed themselves to be taken to concentraion camps by the Nazis? Tyranny is an unfortuanate reality and byproduct that often comes with power and authority. The Founding Fathers were brilliant in their wisdom to try and prevent this “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    -Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776, Jefferson Papers 344

    • Thanks for commenting, Ted, but I don’t see where I ever claim that AR-15 stands for “assault rifle” — or in fact where I mention “AR-15” at all. When I mention “assault rifles,” I’m quoting an article. The media do tend to conflate assault rifles with “rifles that are assault weapons,” but you’d have to admit, it’s kind of easy to do.

      I’d love to get more facts involved in the gun control debate, because clearly it is one of the most emotionally charged political issues going — and solving problems like mass shootings requires honest analysis of data and a practical approach. But let me say that the “guns aren’t the problem” mantra strikes me as disingenuous coming from someone who would ask me to believe that guns alone could have prevented both black slavery in America and the Holocaust.

      Somehow I must entertain two contradictory notions — that on the one hand, restricting access to guns won’t have an effect on acts of violence because you can perpetrate murders just as well with a host of other items; and on the other hand, guns have an almost magical ability to fend off oppression and genocide.

    • Thanks for your reply and I am sorry for the AR-15 reference, with one exception. It has become the politician’s mantra of many unfactual grandstanding comments. If you check into “FBI statistics” , you will quickly learn that the preponderence (close to 85%) of gun crime is from urban inner-city where “underground ” black market” firarms flourish. However, what has happend is it has opened the doorway to attempt to remove guns entirely. I do not recall any mass shootings or violent crime from law-abiding citizens with firearms. Chicago has the highest gun-related crime rate within the United States with one of the strictest gun laws. This flies in the face of going after people having the right to bear arms. Additionally, I personally believe as many other law enforcement people have stated” confiscation” of citizen’s firearms can easily tripwire into terrible consequences. Please note that Gov. O’Malley included confiscation in his gun law initiative. I really think the background checks and saftey courses are great. But the registration and licensing is where the 2nd Amendment threat lies. I am not saying that guns alone whould have stopped slavery or the concentration camps, but I would certainly believe that the opressor would be on notice that they weren’t going without a fight. Some things are worth dying for; just ask the Founding Fathers. Let’s examine contemorary recent history. If the Syrian people would have been fully armed, do you think that the UN stated 60,000 would all be dead? I don’t think so. If you examine tryanny in history; it is accomplished in little segments.

      First they came for the Communists,
      and I didn’t speak up,
      because I wasn’t a communist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I did not speak out,
      because I was not a trade unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak up,
      because I was not a jew.
      Then they came for me,
      and by that time there was no one
      left to speak out for me. — Martin Niemöller (1892-1984):
      (German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. He was imprisoned in 1937 by Adolf Hitler)

    • If you are attempting to make a counter points through “what if” conjecture, regarding legal gun owners, then there is no sense for debate. Present your facts & statistics! Show the readers where law-abiding citizens or members of the NRA are engaged in violent crime; where, when and & how; what percentage of crime? I am not saying its not possibe, but it is very small if any whatsoever. Are you trying to focus on violent crime prevention or do you have another adjenda.

    • I’m honestly confused. You presented the “what ifs” — regarding slavery and the Holocaust — not me.

      Of course no “law-abiding citizens” are engaged in violent crime — criminals are not “law-abiding.” I think the pertinent question is, “How many legally obtained guns and ammo are used in violent crime?” or something similar.

      I don’t quite get what you’re suggesting when you ask whether I have “another agenda.”

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