A DPMS AR-15 assault weapon (top), and a Colt HBAR .223 caliber AR-15 rifle in a Glen Burnie gun shop.
A DPMS AR-15 assault weapon (top), and a Colt HBAR .223 caliber AR-15 rifle in a Glen Burnie gun shop. (KARL MERTON FERRON / Baltimore Sun)

With survivors of the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. — which killed 17 — and other advocates calling for Congress to take action to prevent future school shootings, gun laws like Maryland’s are being debated on a national scale.

Maryland, which already had tough gun laws compared with many other states, in 2013 became one of a few states that passed even stricter laws regulating firearms after the December 2012 massacre of 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


The pro-gun-control Brady Campaign ranks Maryland’s gun laws the seventh-strictest in the country.

These are some provisions of the 2013 law and previous statutes:

The 2013 law:

  • Bans the sale or transfer of 45 firearms defined as assault weapons, including AR-15 models similar to that used in Parkland and other recent mass shootings. Individuals who owned such guns before Oct. 1, 2013, may continue to possess them.
  • Bans the manufacturing, sale or transfer of detachable magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
  • Prohibits possession of so-called “cop-killer” bullets during the commission of a crime of violence.
  • Creates a licensing system for the purchase of handguns under which individuals are required to undergo a criminal background check and to be fingerprinted. Applicants must certify under penalty of perjury that they are not prohibited by state of federal law from owning a handgun. Most applicants must complete a certified firearms training course.
  • Requires gun dealers to keep records of all firearms transactions and the state police to inspect dealers’ inventory and records every two years.
  • Restricts possession of firearms by individuals with a history of mental illness.
  • Bans certain categories of people from owning rifles or shotguns, including those with criminal convictions, mental illnesses or drug addictions.

Previous laws:

  • Prohibit sale and possession of 15 specific handguns classified as “assault pistols.”
  • Ban people convicted of crimes involving violence or drugs from possessing regulated firearms, including the assault weapons whose sale was banned in 2013.
  • Require firearms dealers to be licensed by the state.
  • Require individuals carrying handguns, concealed or not, to obtain a permit from Maryland State Police, for which they must have a “good and substantial reason” to do so. In practice, few are issued such permits.
  • Require handguns manufactured after 2002 and sold in Maryland to have internal trigger locks.

Source: Department of Legislative Services

What would happen here? Baltimore area students, parents and educators evaluate safety plans after Florida school shootings

Several students walked up to Baltimore school police officer Tiffany Wiggins Thursday morning and asked her, “What are we going to do if there’s a school shooting here?” The children’s questions come a day after a 19-year-old expelled student went on a shooting rampage at his former high school,