ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Maryland Democrats outlined a package of gun control measures on Wednesday as part of their legislative priorities this session.
House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, described them as "common sense legislation" to protect Maryland residents, particularly those on college campuses. Here is a summary of three measures that Democratic leadership is supporting:
COLLEGE GUN BAN
Guns would be banned on public college campuses. Now, gun policies are decided on a campus-by-campus basis. The measure would make it illegal for a person to possess a gun on public colleges and university campuses, including community colleges. It would exempt police officers and security personnel. "Our college campuses are going to be a gun-free sanctuary," Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said.
The Maryland State Police would be prevented from issuing gun permits to people on the terrorist watchlist maintained by the FBI. Supporters of the bill say there is a loophole in the law, because federal law doesn't prevent someone on the list from buying a weapon.
Courts would require judges to order people convicted of a domestic-related crime to transfer their firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer or local law enforcement within two days of conviction or probation. While the law already says they can't possess a firearm, but supporters of the bill say the problem is judges have not been telling offenders they must surrender their firearms. The measure would create a process for people convicted of domestic violence offences to turn in guns. They would also have three days to produce documentation that the firearms have been turned in. "All we are doing is improving the implementation of this law by saying that the courts have got to compel surrender of those firearms," said Sen. Jamie Raskin.