O'Malley: Assault weapons ban poised to pass this year

As Maryland lawmakers prepared to gather for their 2013 session, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Wednesday that he believes the General Assembly is poised to pass a ban on assault weapons this year.

Gun control is expected to be one of the leading issues facing legislators in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut last month.

O'Malley said he will work with legislative leaders to craft a comprehensive package to address high-powered weapons, mental health and school security.

"I believe there is a will to pass a bill this session," he said in an appearance on the Marc Steiner radio show.

O'Malley rejected the argument that school employees should be armed to deter potential school attackers, arguing that the problem is too many guns, not too few.

"There's a deep sickness in our country and it's called violence, and there's not another industrial country that suffers from this sickness quite the way we do," he said.