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Gun Control, Gas Tax Hike Laws Signed Thursday

High-profile Maryland bills on firearms and funding state transportation projects became law.

Two of the most controversial bills Maryland state lawmakers grappled with this session became law Thursday.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, flanked by Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, House Speaker Michael Busch and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, signed 268 bills into law. Among them were the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 which increases the state's gas tax, and the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, a restrictive gun control bill.

The gun control measure was an important part of O’Malley’s legislative priorities, but was widely contested by Republicans in the General Assembly. Under the law, more than 40 types of guns are banned in Maryland including most semi-automatic rifles. In addition, digital fingerprints of gun owners are required and people who are involuntarily committed are prohbited from owning guns. 

The legislation met Republican opposition.

“The fact is, the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 provides no safety,” Senate Minority Leader E.J, Pipkin (R-Dist. 36) of Elkton said during a Senate debate of the bill in April.

The National Rifle Association has promised to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the legislation, The Washington Post reported Thursday.  

O'Malley (D) insisted the law is a step in the right direction.

"The legislation signed today takes a comprehensive, common-sense approach to help keep our communities safe while striking a balance between protecting the safety of law enforcement and our children, and respecting the traditions of hunters and law-abiding citizens to purchase handguns for self-protection," O'Malley said in a statement Thursday. 

The gas tax increase, a revenue generator that could help fund the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, barely passed both houses of the General Assembly with Republicans casting most of the votes against the measure, Patch reported. 

Read about all 268 bills that were signed here.

A May 1 bill signing included bills to repeal the death penalty and ban cyber-bullying.

tyler May 17, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Maryland wants to welcome everybody new and old to the new and improved state Government! Its called legal organized crime fully supported by your state government and paid for by you!
Ian Brett Cooper May 18, 2013 at 01:09 PM
At least they increased the gas tax. It's about time.
EB3 May 18, 2013 at 02:18 PM
I am moving back to Virginia, the true Free State.
k May 20, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Welcome to Maryland the state that doesn't acknowledge or allow rights granted by the 2nd amendment unless you are a criminal.....of course. Does anyone actually think that making it illegal or difficult for law abiding citizens to own guns will actually stop the daily shootings that go on in Baltimore city?????? I'll vote against every politician that supported this idiotic bill!!!!!!!
Rockville libertarian May 29, 2013 at 06:35 PM
"Gov. Martin O'Malley, flanked by Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, House Speaker Michael Busch and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, signed 268 bills into law" What good could possibly come from 268 NEW laws? What could these crooks possibly be legislating except favors for the political cronies?

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