Wednesday, December 19, 2012

O'Malley goes for guns

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will add gun control to his agenda.

The governor said he directed staff to lay out a three-prong plan that includes banning assault weapons and magazines that hold a large amount of ammunition, expanding mental health services and improving school security.

He said the legislation hasn’t been drafted yet, but he will sign a bill to outlaw assault weapons if the General Assembly passes one during its 90-day session beginning Jan. 9.

O’Malley said assault weapons, such as the one the Connecticut gunman used, should be available only to soldiers on the battlefield and law enforcement officers.

“There has been a change of heart and a greater open-mindedness” among lawmakers toward gun control in the last few days, O’Malley said.

He said he did not expect groups such as the National Rifle Association to hold much sway with Maryland lawmakers.

“I don’t believe there are many delegates or senators who are going to be affected by what the NRA says or doesn’t say,” O’Malley said.

Considering Maryland is a deeply blue state (with awful license plates, btw), this should be a slam dunk with the bonus that he shouldn't have to spend much political capital on it.