Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Associated Press
The Maryland House of Delegates passed what would be among the nation's most restrictive gun-control measures Wednesday, voting to ratchet up the state's already tough rules by requiring fingerprinting of gun buyers, new limits on firearm purchases by the mentally ill, and bans on assault weapons and on magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.
The 78-61 vote handed Gov. Martin O'Malley a major policy victory. The bill now returns to the state Senate, which passed a substantially similar version of the legislation last month.
Connecticut's Senate on Wednesday approved sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large-capacity magazines.
The bill passed the Senate in a bipartisan 26-10 vote following a respectful and at times somber six-hour debate Wednesday evening. The House of Representatives then took up the bill and was expected to vote later in the night.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign it into law.
-- From news service reports
DENVER — Putting pressure on Congress to limit access to guns, President Obama said Wednesday that recent steps by Colorado to tighten its gun laws show "there doesn't have to be a conflict" between keeping citizens safe and protecting Second Amendment rights to gun ownership.
"I believe there doesn't have to be a conflict in reconciling these realities," Obama said in Denver, where he stepped up his call for background checks for all gun purchases and renewed his demand that Congress at least vote on banning assault weapons and limiting access to large-capacity ammunition magazines.
"There doesn't have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights," he said.
Obama noted that more than 100 days have passed since the shooting rampage that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and reignited the national debate over access to guns.
"Every day that we wait to do something about it even more of our fellow citizens are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. Now the good news is Colorado has already chosen to do something about it," he said.
In danger of losing congressional momentum on the issue, Obama went to Colorado -- which has a deep-rooted hunting tradition and where gun ownership is a cherished right -- to use its example and public pressure to prod Congress to act.