Maryland lawmakers push for action on gun control

BALTIMORE - The Newtown shooting has energized some lawmakers in Maryland to renew their battle to limit assault weapons.

They are hoping for better results than in previous years.

Maryland legislators are not waiting for the session to begin to push some of their bills.

"The legislation is designed to address the epidemic of gun violence that has swept the country," said Senator Brian Frosh of Montgomery County.

Frosh was one of several lawmakers, including Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake that gathered Wednesday to express concern of gun violence.

"We have a public health crisis that stems from the use of these guns and the failure to address these issues would be a failure of leadership," Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

Some of the laws local lawmakers would like to put into place would be to ban 45 firearms specified as assault weapons and to limit the amount of bullets in magazines from 20 to 10 in a clip. Mayor Rawlings-Blake agrees with a proposal for more stringent regulations for record-keeping by dealers on the sale of firearms.

"The level of scrutiny would greatly enhance law enforcement to crack down on firearms that sold illegally or were otherwise unaccounted for," said Senator Jamie Raskin.

Prior to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, many lawmakers feared the battles they would face politically if they pushed harder on gun control. Now, they are worried about what happens if they don't react.

Many of the bills being discussed in Maryland were introduced last year and were unsuccessful in passing legislation.

Maryland's legislature begins on January 9.

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