- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
- Ukraine’s Crimea seeks to become independent state
- Ex-Gov. Christie aides to judge: Quash subpoenas
- Rich Peverley collapses on Dallas Stars bench; game postponed
- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
Referendum on new Maryland gun control laws shot down
Petition effort falls short but opponents vow to press on
The last obstacle standing in the way of Maryland’s new gun control law was cleared this weekend, leaving gun control advocates relieved but gun rights supporters galvanized for future political action.
The Saturday deadline to submit more than 18,000 signatures calling for a referendum on the legislation passed this year by the General Assembly came up short with pro-gun petition organizers needing roughly 1,000 more signatures. Had the signatures been collected, organizers would have had until the end of June to get the remainder of the 55,736 signatures required to suspend the legislation until the 2014 election.
“This was not a failure,” said Sue Payne, the Montgomery County woman who organized the petition effort. “People registered to vote, they mobilized, and there’s a new place to register [petitions]. It was remarkable considering we were really at it three weeks and two days,” Ms. Payne said.
She sprang into action after Delegate Neil C. Parrott, Washington Republican and the man behind MDPetitions.com, announced in April that he would not be pursuing a referendum, but instead would lend his support to a lawsuit proposed by the National Rifle Association.
So Ms. Payne set up her own grass-roots petition site, Free State Petitions, and began collecting signatures in early May.
“I’m so proud I tried to give these people a voice,” Ms. Payne said. “This is not going away. This is going to be something where we are going to be able to affect changes with tools of the Maryland Constitution. We’re going to make sure people know who really supports Second Amendment rights.”
Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, said the passing deadline meant that “now this lifesaving law can take effect as planned.”
The law adds 45 guns to a list of banned weapons, but has a clause that grandfathers people who own or purchase their firearms before the law takes effect Oct. 1. The legislative package also includes a 10-round limit on handgun magazines, a requirement that prospective gun owners obtain licenses for weapons and provide their fingerprints as part of the application process.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Three Gulf countries sink 'Noah' before movie's launch
- Lenten season marks big business for seafood sector
- ACU at 50: Strong and looking ahead
- Ready for spring? D.C. cherry blossoms to bloom by mid-April
- MOVIE REVIEW: 'Son of God'
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Man with stolen passport on missing jet is asylum seeker
- Al Qaeda to launch English-language Web magazine 'Resurgence'
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again