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Martin O'Malley reiterates call for tighter gun laws

Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, speaks during the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Presidential Forum, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: IACN119
Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, speaks during the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Presidential Forum, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: IACN119 (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley is calling for universal background checks for firearms purchases and a national age requirement for handgun possession as part of a broad gun control proposal his campaign will release Monday.

The plan, the latest in a series of detailed proposals from the two-term Maryland governor, recommends upping the age for handgun possession to 21 in all states. Federal law currently prohibits people under 18 from possessing a handgun.

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O'Malley, who would have to work with a reticent Congress to approve the changes, also addressed the issue of gun control in June, following the shooting at a black church in South Carolina. At the time, he also called for stronger background checks and a federal ban on assault weapons.

The former governor has experience on the issue from his time in Annapolis. Maryland was one of the first states to respond to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, passing a law that lowered magazine capacity and increased state regulations for gun dealers.

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"Governor O'Malley is calling for the nation to adopt similar, common sense reforms -- while also closing loopholes that allow prohibited individuals to easily purchase guns, prevent law enforcement from holding dealers and gun traffickers accountable when they break the law, and lead to the deaths of thousands of children ever year," his campaign wrote in its proposal.

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