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Gun Bills Get Wrapped Up In Maryland's Election Year Politics

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A sweeping gun control measure was the headliner of all the bills passed in the Maryland General Assembly last year. This year, there are many more bills that deal with guns, but given that it's an election year just months removed from last year's tough fight, all of them face a long road to approval.

Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks is urging lawmakers to okay a bill extending the statute of limitations on prosecuting gun crimes past its current one-year limit.

"For example there's a 2005 case that we have just recently solved. We can not charge the person for using the handgun that was used in the commission of the offense because of the one-year statute of limitations. So it's a common sense bill," she says.

She testified in support of the bill last year as well, but it failed. And this year doesn't look much better, as anything with guns remains a touchy issue for lawmakers with the primary election just four months off.

But there are others running to the issue rather than running from it. Harford County executive and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig testified in support of a bill that would expand the reasons Marylanders could carry a concealed handgun to include self-defense. It's a bill with very weak chances of passage, but Craig's active support could certainly help with GOP primary voters.

"You're going to go out to your car and it's late at night. Do you think someone would come over and try to assault you or rob you or attack you if they thought you might have a concealed weapon? No they wouldn't. This would expand your own safety. It does not expand the ability to own a gun illegally," he says.

State residents must show a "good and substantial" reason to have a concealed carry permit. Self-defense does not currently qualify.


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