The Montgomery County Council yesterday passed a resolution urging the Maryland General Assembly and Congress to enact a package of gun control laws.
The resolution supports background checks that would prevent those with mental illness from purchasing guns, a ban on armor-piercing bullets and all forms of assault weapons, a ban on magazines with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds, the removal of restrictions Congress has placed on the ATF that prevents it from sharing gun databases with local police stations, the closing of the “gun show” loophole and an increase in mandatory penalties for for criminals convicted of carrying guns during a violent crime.
There are many legitimate, law-abiding reasons to own a firearm. However, assault weapons, armor piercing bullets, and large capacity magazines have the ability to kill and maim large numbers of human beings, but have limited usefulness for hunters and other law-abiding citizens.
The proposals, introduced by Council President Nancy Navarro (D-East County), mirror many of the laws that Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and others in the state legislature will attempt to pass during the General Assembly.
Today, President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders that go toward strengthening background checks for those who wish to purchase guns.
The county lacks the authority to regulate the sale or possession of firearms under state law.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) released a statement supporting Obama’s proposals on Wednesday afternoon:
Today, President Obama presented a clear vision of how we can improve gun safety in our nation. I applaud the President for taking executive action where appropriate, such as increasing research on gun violence and improving our federal database that tracks guns. Congress must immediately consider the White House’s recommendations for legislative action, including closing loopholes in criminal and mental health background checks for people purchasing guns, banning military-style assault weapons, and limiting the size of high-capacity magazines.
Our nation has buried too many innocent victims of gun violence because we have been unwilling to take action on sensible gun safety measures. Despite the distortions and scare tactics used by the Washington-based gun lobby, a majority of Americans support these common sense measures. Limiting the number of bullets that can be fired at once does not mean we are trying to take guns away from responsible gun owners. If you’re on a terrorist watch list, you should not be permitted to buy a gun. We can keep our children safe without infringing on the Second Amendment.