Gun Rights Advocates Plan to Take Maryland to Court

Yahoo Contributor Network

MDPetitions.com has decided not to pursue a ballot to challenge Maryland's tough new gun control laws, according to the the Washington Post. Instead, they'll be taking their case to court.

Convinced the law violates the Second Amendment, the group will instead support a court challenge bring brought by the National Rifle Association.

Here's a closer look at the gun control debate in Maryland.

* The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 bans 45 kinds of weapons, requires background chceks, and caps magazines at a 10-bullet limit.

* The group Maryland Shall Issue told WTOP that a referendum may not be the best way to overturn the law. The advocacy group's president Patrick Shomo said, "We're nervous from a philosophical standpoint just from the idea of going ahead and asking your neighbors to go ahead and affirm something that you own, which is your rights."

* According to the Baltimore Sun, the founder of MDPetitions.com, Republican Del. Neil Parrott, agreed. "This is a constitutional right that should not go to the citizens to vote on."

* Parrott described one of the bill's requirements, the need to purchase a license to own a handgun, as a poll tax. "They can't tax us to go to church, and they can't tax us to have free speech. They shouldn't tax us to own a handgun," he said according to the Baltimore Sun.

* The Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore will also provide $50,000 to fund a political action committee called Take Back Maryland. The group will go after legislators who supported the bill.

* In a press release issued upon the legislature's approval of the gun safety bill, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown both spoke glowing of its passage.

* "With today's vote," O'Malley said, "Maryland has chosen to enact a comprehensive, common sense approach to licensing and gun safety, a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and meaningful improvements to mental health treatment and data-sharing -- 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."

* Brown agreed, saying, "As leaders, we have a responsibility to keep Maryland safe; to prevent senseless violence from threatening our collective potential - violence that takes our children from us too soon and destroys our neighborhoods."

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington in Germantown, Md.