Maryland Senate passes bill ending limitations on handguns used in violent crime

ANNAPOLIS - Members of the Maryland Senate passed a bill Monday ending the statute if limitations for guns used to commit a felony or violent crime.

The primary sponsor of the bill, Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chairman Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery) hailed the victory as one that "goes after criminals, not law abiding gun owners."

Under current law, law enforcement only have a year to charge someone with use of a handgun.

Legislators said that in many cases, suspects of gun crimes are identified well after that timeframe. 

As a result of SB 248, Maryland may initiate a prosecution for a violent crime involving a handgun within the time allowed to prosecute the underlying crime.

In 2013, according to the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing, there were 2,038 violations of the law prohibiting the use of a firearm in the commission or a crime of violence or felony and only 318 convictions.

Legislators hope the new law will help law enforcement who investigate cold cases. 

 

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