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Maryland lawmakers approve bill requiring background checks for rifle and shotgun buyers
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Maryland lawmakers approve bill requiring background checks for rifle and shotgun buyers

Maryland lawmakers gave final approval on Monday to a bill that requires all purchasers of rifles and shotguns to submit to background checks.

State law already requires buyers to undergo a federal background check through the NICS Index when purchasing rifles from licensed dealers. The bill extends that requirement to private sales and permanent gifts.

Anyone who violates the act is guilty of a misdemeanor and could be convicted for up to 6 months, be subject to a fine of up to $10,000, or both. A person who provides false information could be imprisoned for up to 3 years, be subject to a fine of $5,000, or both.

The Maryland House of Delegates approved the bill by a vote of 87 to 47, and the Senate approved the bill by a vote of 31 to 14.

The bill will now go to Governor Larry Hogan. Provided that the governor does not veto it, the act will take effect on October 1.