A look at Md. gun control laws, and FBI stats amid national discussion of gun violence
BY CHRIS PAPST, WJLA MONDAY, OCTOBER 5TH 2015
MGN OnlineWASHINGTON (WJLA) — Similar to the recent shooting at a community college in Oregon, the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, gripped the nation and sparked a heated debate about gun control.
Soon after, Maryland passed sweeping new laws, which - in part - banned certain assault rifles, limited magazine capacity and required licenses and fingerprinting for handgun sales.
It also barred people who have been involuntarily committed to mental health institutions from possessing firearms.
Two years later, did it work?
The I-Team analyzed the numbers. According to FBI statistics, gun murders in 2014, the year after the new laws, dropped 22 percent. Though, that follows an overall 19 percent drop in Maryland murders. In that same time frame, Virginia's murders went up. DC stayed about the same.
Gun Murders vs. Overall Murder
"That's a good thing. That is actual lives saved." Jolene Ivey is a former delegate in Maryland who voted for the 2013 law, and reviewed the statistics.
"I would like to claim some credit," said Ivey. "It's going to be a decade or more before we really know how the law's working."
"Previous Governor O'Malley, pretty much killed the fire arms industry in the state of Maryland," said Lou Klein, who's been a gun dealer for 29 years and has a shop in Bowie.
Klein says the biggest impact the 2013 law had was to business. With 45 types of guns banned along with tighter regulation, his sales are down 80 percent and he knows of at least eight gun shops that have closed.
"As the days and weeks and months go by things are going to change. It's going to get worse," concluded Klein.
Another impact of the 2013 law included a major gun company leaving the state. In 2014, legendary Italian gun maker Beretta announced it would move its manufacturing capabilities from Maryland to Tennessee, which is more gun friendly.