Gun Control Bills Debated in Maryland, Minnesota

Protesters in Maryland fighting against using no-fly lists to ban people from owning firearms. The state also wants to ban ownership of toy guns.

Lawmakers in Minnesota and Maryland, two distant and disparate states, have gun bills under consideration, drawing heated attention and testimony from both supporters and opponents.

Hundreds of people descended on Annapolis, Maryland, on Wednesday to debate whether Maryland's already strict gun laws should go even further, according to this story from the Baltimore Sun.

More than a dozen gun control proposals are currently being debated by the state legislature. Advocates say they will close “deadly loopholes” and opponents say they will further infringe on Second Amendment rights without providing any additional safety for the public.

The story says more than 400 people signed up to testify, with each getting 90 seconds. That amounted to 10 hours of testimony before a Senate committee considering proposals that include banning gun sales to people on no-fly lists and confiscating firearms from people convicted of domestic violence.

Among the gun control proposals is a bill that would require Maryland to recognize handgun carry permits issued to gun owners in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Currently, Maryland doesn't recognize permits from any states or U.S. territories.

There's also a proposal that would outright ban the ownership of toy guns that look like real guns in the state, the story says.

"I'm a legal gun owner, but I would become a criminal because I have a pellet gun," said Robert Heede of Parkville in the story. "I have a grandson that I may want to teach to shoot with it. I agree there needs to be common sense, but there needs to be constitutional sense."

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, anti-gun advocates and Second Amendment activists will gather at the State Capitol in St. Paul today to debate that state's gun law. Sen Ron Latz and Rep. Dan Shoen will unveil a new gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks on all gun sales, including guns purchased online and at gun shows, according to this story from kare11.com.

At noon, members of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance will gather at the State Capitol for their second annual Gun Owners Lobby Day.

"We have people coming from all over the state. We have people coming from Rochester, people coming from Duluth. People are taking a day off work and traveling across the state to send this message," said Andrew Rothman, president of MN GOCRA, which is working against Latz and Shoen's bill.

"We don't think that we need more gun control. We think that we need more criminal control," he said in the story.