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Maryland senate approves gun control legislation

The Maryland Senate [official website] on Thursday gave final approval to a bill [text] that imposes tougher restrictions on obtaining a license to buy a firearm and bans certain types of rifles. Scheduled to go into effect October 1 of this year, the new law will limit magazines to 10 bullets and will ban 45 types of semiautomatic rifles. The law also introduces a stricter licensing process that will require fingerprinting, passing classroom and range training and undergoing more extensive background checks. The bill received initial senate approval [JURIST report] last month. The bill will now proceed to Governor Martin O'Malley for approval. O'Malley has publicly supported the bill [press release] and is expected to sign the legislation soon.

The Newtown, Connecticut shooting [WSJ backgrounder] sparked a national gun control debate [JURIST comment]. Also Thursday Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed [JURIST report] a comprehensive gun control bill into law, placing new limits on the sale of firearms. Last month, President Barack Obama urged [JURIST report] Congress to pass three bills which would require background checks for all private gun sales, renew a grant to improve schools security programs and make the act of buying a weapon for someone barred from owning one a federal crime. Also last month, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed [JURIST report] three bills mandating background checks for gun transfers and prohibiting the sale of large magazines. Earlier in March, US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] spoke before Congress [JURIST report] urging passage of gun control measures, including universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines and military style assault weapons. In January Obama signed 23 executive orders [JURIST report] intended to strengthen existing gun laws and urged congress to take up gun control measures.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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