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Maryland Activists Want State's New Gun Law to be National Model

Photo: Maryland Gun Control activists hope Congress will learn a lesson from the Maryland General Assembly. Photo: Executive Office of the Governor
Photo: Maryland Gun Control activists hope Congress will learn a lesson from the Maryland General Assembly. Photo: Executive Office of the Governor
April 16, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Just a few weeks after the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation requiring gun buyers to submit to fingerprinting, local activists are calling on Congress to pay attention.

Becky Wagner, executive director of Advocates for Children and Youth, wants Maryland's law to be a national model, and she said it will help keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.

"In Maryland, children are going to be safer no matter how tough their neighborhood, or how unsafe they feel going to and from school," she declared.

A compromise plan advancing in the U.S. Senate would require background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows and on the Internet, but does not require them to submit to fingerprinting.

According to Wagner, that doesn't go far enough.

"It is a long way from what Maryland has done," she stated. "And I have a hard time empathizing with the fact that a background check is inconvenient."

Wagner hopes the eventual success of stricter background checks in Maryland and other states will affect the national debate.

Maryland's soon-to-be-signed law could be in jeopardy, though. Critics are promising to force a referendum that would let voters decide whether it should stand.


Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD