Hundreds Rally For Maryland Gun Control Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Hundreds Rally For Maryland Gun Control Bill

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Crowds rally in support of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control legislation in Annapolis on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Markette Smith
Crowds rally in support of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control legislation in Annapolis on Friday, March 1, 2013.

Large crowds of supporters and opponents showed up to rally in Annapolis, as Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control legislation heads to the House of Delegates. The Senate passed the governor's measure this week.

O'Malley is pushing for state lawmakers to pass the bill on tighter gun laws. Speaking before supporters of his proposed Firearm Safety Act outside the State House, the governor referenced the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as a reason why Marylanders should come together on the issue.

"The children that were lost in Newtown were our children," he said to the crowds. "The children that are lost on the streets of Baltimore are our children."

O'Malley says he's not trying to ban handguns. He says the law protects legal gun ownership. Prince George's County Council member Karen Toles supports the bill.

"We've lost six children already during the school year to gun violence, but you know what? It's bigger than that," says Toles. "We need to be able to get people mental help if they need it."

Across the street from the rally, opponents of the Firearm Safety Act filled an office building for the House of Delegates.

"It's a bill that restricts our 2nd Amendment rights," says Don Lobos of Elkton, Md. He says he's against the fingerprinting part of the bill, saying that it's something that's done to criminals.

Another opponent says he came to Annapolis to also speak out for his 2nd Amendment rights. He says he lives in a rural area and wants to be able to defend himself if necessary.

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