Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley today signed a bill banning the sale of assault weapons, limiting magazines to 10 bullets, requiring handgun purchasers to submit fingerprints and get a license, and creating penalties for people who don’t notify police when their firearms are lost or stolen. The Baltimore Sun reports that gun control advocates are now planning Baltimore-area TV ads to bolster support among Maryland voters, in case of a future referendum or campaigns to oust lawmakers who backed the bill in the General Assembly.
This ad buy begs the question: Could Maryland’s anti-gun control community gather enough support to change course in the state? The NRA’s threats “scared the pants off Congress,” says Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC. But, he clarifies, the national stage and state are different matters.
Asked about potential efforts to remove legislators who supported the gun control bill, Norris noted, “Whether that will work in Maryland, I’m not so sure. My gut tells me no. They might be able to knock off a few people, but I think it’s very much a long shot.”