NRA plans to challenge Maryland gun law
Several public polls conducted since January suggest most Maryland residents support the new gun law. Gun-control advocates said Tuesday they hope it serves as a model to other states, especially the licensing provision that requires fingerprints.

Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, said stronger gun laws in other states would help “to keep their guns from killing people in Maryland.”

DeMarco helped defeat the 1988 referendum effort and said he hopes this law is not delayed by a petition drive. “We want to save lives as soon as possible. … If they do (petition) it, we will win.”

Josselyn's group, meanwhile, has asked members to set aside $1 a day to fund a developing political action committee, which could target pro-gun control legislators in the next election.

In late March, the NRA and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association filed a lawsuit with several other New York gun groups alleging that state's new gun law prohibiting commonly possessed guns and magazines violates the Second Amendment.

“We're trying to figure out what's next,” said Shannon Alford, NRA's lobbyist in Annapolis. “We're at headquarters reviewing the [Maryland] law. Connecticut passed a bill the same day too.”

Parrott, who represents Washington County in the General Assembly, said the organization behind mdpetitions.com is surveying people who helped with previous petition drives to gauge interest in challenging the gun law.

The website makes it easier to collect valid signatures, and with it Parrott petitioned to referendum three laws — to legalize same-sex marriage, allow some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, and redraw congressional districts.

It was the first time in 20 years that a law had been petitioned to the ballot in the state; all three laws were upheld.

The group learned that the process of garnering enough support to overturn a law is far more expensive and time-consuming than simply gathering signatures. Parrott said they want to target resources where they can be most effective.

The survey asks which of a handful of laws this legislative session — including the gun bill, repeal of the death penalty and the issuance of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants — should be petitioned.

ecox@baltsun.com

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