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Chris Murphy

Van Hollen crafts gun licensing bill

Van Hollen crafts gun licensing bill

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Montgomery County Democrat who is running for the Senate, introduced legislation Thursday to encourage states to toughen handgun licensing requirements — an effort he said would reduce homicides.

The bill, supported only by Democrats, would create a federal grant program to help states create permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns, including those bought at gun shows and from private dealers. They are the kinds of requirements that Maryland approved in 2013.

"States require licenses to drive a car or even to fish in local rivers, so requiring a license to buy a deadly handgun is a common-sense step that...