Maryland Argues Gun Law Challenge Came Too Late

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Chris Gordon reports on the stricter gun law taking effect in Maryland Tuesday. (Published Monday, Sep 30, 2013)

    Some gun owners are fighting to the end to try to stop Maryland’s new gun law, which goes into effect Tuesday.

    The new law is one of the toughest in the country, and at the Maryland Small Arms Range in Upper Marlboro, a lot of people told News4 the new gun restrictions are unfair and illegal.

    "I think a person has the right to own a gun for their own protection," gun owner Charlie McCall said.

    The new law requires fingerprinting of handgun buyers and gun safety training, bans the sale of some assault-style weapons, and limits magazines to 10 bullets.

    "I don't want to have to go through the class, I don't want to have to go through the fingerprinting, I don't want to have to go through the all that," new gun buyer Ana DaSilva said.

    A collection of gun shops, firearm associations and private citizens filed two lawsuits late last week challenging different aspects of the law on constitutional grounds. A court hearing on the first case is set for Tuesday.

    The state argues that the challenges are being made too late and that the court should deny the request to set aside the assault weapons ban and the limit on high-capacity ammo clips.

    Attorney General Doug Gansler says the plaintiffs sat on their claimed rights for four months after Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the measure. He says the motion should be denied for that reason.

    Demand for guns ahead of the new law has skyrocketed.

    “We are getting cleaned out,” said Jack Donald at Maryland Small Arms Range. “Our sales have been out of sight. It's the busiest I've ever seen it."

    And there’s the issue of how to enforce the new gun restrictions.

    “Montgomery County police have a firearms unit that works directly with state police the state police, and we’re tied into their systems, so we’ll be assisting them in assuring that these laws are enforced fairly," Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said.

    Gun stores fear that Maryland’s new restrictions will force their customers to go to nearby states like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware to buy guns.