Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, said this morning that he considering introducing a gun control package in the upcoming legislation session and reiterated his opposition to assault weapons like the one used in the Newtown massacre.
"I think you can count on there being several bills, the likelihood is that there will be a bill from this administration, the details of which we are still working on," O'Malley said at a briefing with reporters this morning.
The governor said that this morning he directed members of his cabinet to examine three areas for possible legislation: Gun control, access to guns by the mentally ill and school safety.
O'Malley said he's particularly interested in looking at the state's laws on assault weapons and limiting the number of rounds in a magazine. "It is hard to conclude that these guns should be in the hands of anyone who isn't a soldier on the battle field or a law enforcement who was being sent into a tactical situation," O'Malley said.
Currently, Marylanders can own or purchase 45 different types of semi-automatic assault weapons. Magazines are 20 bullets. As mayor of Baltimore, O'Malley testified in Annapolis in support of a state-wide assault weapons ban.
O’Malley said mental health laws will also be reviewed “to make sure that we properly limit the access to assault rifles and guns for people who are suffering from an illness.”
The Sun reported this morning that a group of senators -- led by Judicial Proceedings Chairman Brian Frosh -- plan to introduce gun legislation as that would include a full ban on assault weapons.
O'Malley disagreed with a proposal floated this morning by Va Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, who said the state should consider arming school principals, teachers and school staff should be armed.
“It's hard to imagine a level of weaponry that a security guard, if there even is one in an elementary school, could be carrying on their belt that would have resisted the sort of attack that the individual perpetrated in Newtown,” O'Malley said.