Calling it his top priority for the 2013 General Assembly session, Gov. Martin O'Malley Friday said he will introduce a set of proposed gun control laws.
The bills are part of O'Malley's 25-item agenda that was announced Friday morning. The requests include bills on school safety, repeal of the sunset of the state DNA database program, offshore wind, jobs and expansion of early voting as well as making it possible for voters to register on the same day they vote.
But the focus of the news conference was on O'Malley's gun control bills.
"Military assault weapons don't just threaten children and they don't just threaten families," O'Malley said. "They also threaten the men and women, that on our behalf, execute search and seizure warrants. That in the late hours of the night have to go through doors where they don't know what's on the other side and increasingly they're finding when they go through those doors of the murder gangs, and the drug dealers and the gangs that they find assault weapons on the other side of those doors in increasing numbers."
Included in O'Malley's proposals are:
- Reinstate the ban on military-style assault weapons previously banned under a federal law that expired nearly 10 years ago
- Limit the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, down from the current 20 rounds
- Require all gun owners to be licensed
- Improvements to mental health and creation of a center for early intervention strategies and a hotline
- $25 million for improving school safety related to entrance and egress and cameras
- Creation of a Maryland Center for School safety to provide law enforcement advice to schools
"The causes of gun violence are complex and are multifaceted and the actions that we take also have to be multifaceted," O'Malley said.
This story will be updated.