According to the Associated Press, the Maryland House of Delegates is debating a proposal that would link the state’s gun and criminal registries, enabling law enforcement officials to more effectively seize firearms in the possession of those convicted of felonies or violent crimes.
Under Maryland law, anyone convicted of such crimes is required to relinquish their firearms. However, the chief sponsor of the proposed bill, Delegate Luiz Simmons (D-Montgomery Couny), said the law is incapable of truly being enforced if police cannot use their database to pinpoint the individuals in question.
If passed into law, the new bill would require police to run a check twice a year in search of convicted felons with registered guns. Police, meanwhile, believe the linked systems would lead them to disqualify 10 percent of registered gun owners. That amounts to approximately 110,000 people.
As noted by the AP, California passed a similar law back in 2007. In a statement released by Simmons, the lawmaker said that since linking its registries, the California has collected more than 10,000 guns from convicted felons and is working on rounding up another 40,000.
Meanwhile, another Maryland bill targeting gun transactions has been proposed. According to the Baltimore Sun, the bill would prohibit gun sales from moving forward until a background check if fully completed. Currently, dealers may hand over a firearm after one week, even if the background check is still in process.
However, gun rights advocates have blasted the bill, saying it would allow the state to indefinitely delay gun sales because of a backlog of background checks that already need to be processed.
Consideration of these bills comes a little more than a month after a public shooting in Columbia, Maryland. As RT reported in January, a gunman opened fire in a local mall, killing two people and injuring another before taking his own life.