Maryland Legislature to debate on assault weapons bill

Feb. 2, 2004, midnight | By Ellie Blalock | 16 years, 11 months ago

Possible ban sparks tension among gun advocates

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Silver Spring Gazette article Assault weapons ban gathering momentum, by Steven T. Dennis.

The Maryland Legislature will soon debate a bill banning assault weapons. The bill, supported by many liberal lawmakers, is sparking controversy among the largely conservative group of gun rights supporters in the Senate and House.

According to the Gazette, this bill would effectively renew the Federal Government's assault weapons ban, which will expire this year. Sponsored by Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Dist. 15) and Del. Neil F. Quinter (D-Dist. 13), the state bill will specifically ban semiautomatic weapons such as AK-47s and Uzis as well as some other guns, including the type of rifle used by convicted snipers John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo in the fall of 2002.

Senator Alexander Mooney (R-Dist. 3) opposes the bill, and calls the assault weapons "sport utility rifles." Mooney, a staunch gun-rights advocate, also does not believe that the Federal assault weapons ban has succeeded in reducing crime. Mooney may introduce a bill expanding gun rights in the future.

Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr (D-Dist. 8), a supporter of the bill, is optimistic about the ban's potential for success with Senate Judicial Proceedings Brian E. Frosh (D-Dist. 16), who has already expressed his support for an assault weapons ban.

CeaseFire Maryland Executive Director Leah Barrett held a rally for the bill at his home two weeks ago. The rally was attended by many lawmakers including Van Hollen and Frosh, while many of those opposed to the ban protested outside of Barrett's home.

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Ellie Blalock. Ellie is a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys such activities as traveling, being able to say "water" in six languages and having heart-to-heart chats with eccentric politicians. If you're in need of a laugh, please ask Ellie about her driving … More »

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