The final hours of the Maryland General Assembly’s yearly session focused on guns — coming on the day of another deadly mass shooting in the U.S., and in the face of a U.S. Supreme Court that has shown hostility to gun control measures.
As lawmakers crafted, amended, and eventually approved legislation Monday, Gov. Wes Moore noted their work came on the day of America’s latest mass shooting, this one in Louisville that killed at least five people.
“We have a very serious problem where we just have far too much access to these weapons,” Moore told reporters Monday afternoon. “And I think we’re seeing what that looks like all across the country, and the state of Maryland is not immune to it.”
On their final day, lawmakers were still dealing with the fallout of last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen that struck down the state of New York’s higher requirements to receive a concealed carry permit. That set off a chain reaction — then Gov. Larry Hogan lowered Maryland’s standards, which were similar to New York’s. That led to a sevenfold increase in Marylanders applying for a permit. Democratic leadership in the General Assembly sought during this year’s session to define where all those new firearms could be taken.
“Maryland just passed the strictest gun safety package in the nation,” Montgomery County Democratic Senator Jeff Waldstreicher said moments after the legislative session ended Tuesday morning. The chief sponsor of SB1 told WYPR some of the areas where firearms will be prohibited.
“So sensitive places include places like legislatures, preschools, courthouses, hospitals, stadiums, and the like,” Waldstreicher said.
Republicans were not able to stop the bill, but are confident an expected legal challenge will lead to the bill being found unconstitutional — even if it takes getting that challenge all the way to the Supreme Court. Republican Senate leader Steve Hershey accused Democrats of trying to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling.
“They recognized we have to allow wear and carry, and this bill came in and said ‘we’ll allow it, but we’ll restrict all the areas you can bring your firearm,’” Hershey said. “With that being the purpose of the bill, I think we’ll see it ruled unconstitutional, and I think it will be filed in court by the end of the week.”
Can’t wait for the report when this bill
Is struck down. It’s in stark contrast to the Bruen and Heller SCOTUS rulings. All the MGA did is waste tax payers money on this one as it won’t make MD Amy safer.
Every single shooting found an individual with mental issues. Stop
hating guns,an start dealing with mental health. Better drugs,behavior
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