New Md. Gun Laws Effective Oct. 1 - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

New Md. Gun Laws Effective Oct. 1

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MARYLAND - In light of the mass shooting in Washington D.C. Monday, the issue of gun control is once again top of mind. In just two weeks, Maryland's 2013 Firearm Safety Act goes into effect with some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

Starting October 1, if you want to purchase a handgun in the state of Maryland, you'll have to submit your fingerprints, obtain a handgun qualification license and take a gun safety and proficiency course.

"I think they're too restrictive and they impinge on our second amendment rights," Cathy Keim of Salisbury said.

"No one really in my opinion needs a handgun," Lauren Lee of Salisbury said.

The new legislation also limits handgun magazines to ten rounds and bans the sale of 45 types of assault weapons.

Because the law grandfathers in people who own or purchase their firearms before October 1,  Maryland State Police say they've been overwhelmed by more than 85,000 gun-purchase applications this year.

Managers at Crazy Louie's Pawn Shop in Salisbury tells WMDT they've seen a 50 - 75 percent increase in gun purchases this year.

They worry the law is just too ambiguous.

"You get word from one side where, this is what the rule is, and then two weeks later, they change it and say well, never mind, that's not actually the way it is, it's actually like this," General Manager Steve Kottman said.

Governor Martin O' Malley says the bill is designed to save lives, but Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis disagrees.

"Rarely do we have a crime committed by an individual who has legally purchased a weapon. They have been purchased illegally, on the street, in the black market. And there's nothing that prevents anyone from going three or four miles up the road into Delaware and buying these 30 round magazines," he said.

The Firearm Safety Act also works to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and sets 

A joint committee review by the Maryland General Assembly is set for this Monday at 1 p.m. to discuss enforcement and implementation.     

For more information on firearms licensing laws, go to the Maryland State Police website.

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