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Maryland Senator On Gun Control Referendum: 'Bring It On'

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Maryland's gun control law requires fingerprinting for gun purchases and limits magazine sizes to 10 bullets.
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Maryland's gun control law requires fingerprinting for gun purchases and limits magazine sizes to 10 bullets.

Gun rights advocates are vowing to get the expansive gun control bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly before voters next year via referendum. Supporters of the bill, however, don't seem to mind the prospect.

The bill, which includes a ban on military-style assault weapons and large ammunition magazines, is supposed to go into effect on October 1. If opponents are able to gather enough signatures by then, it will force a ballot referendum for the fall of 2014.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, who proposed the bill, says supporters "can't fear" that the issue will go to referendum. Montgomery County Democratic Sen. Brian Frosh took it a step further, telling the NRA and gun rights groups to "bring it on."

Frosh chaired the senate committee that handled the bill, and then helped steer it through the upper chamber to approval.

"The NRA has dominated the public stage for the past 10 to 15 years, but I think people are finally fed up," Frosh says. "And while they have a lot of money and a lot of very passionate members and supporters, I think the rest of the country has become passionate as well."

This wouldn't be the first time Maryland voters decided a gun control measure at the ballot box. In 1988, voters upheld a ban on so-called "Saturday Night Specials," guns considered to be cheaply-made "junk" and attractive to criminals looking to by a firearm quickly.

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