O'Malley is expected to sign the recently passed Maryland bill into law in early May.
Opponents of Maryland' s recently passed gun-control measure say they will seek to overturn it in court, not on the ballot.
Delegate Neil Parrott, a Washington County Republican, made the announcement Wednesday evening in Jessup. "Several gun groups in Maryland have announced that Senate Bill 281 should not go to the people for referendum," Parrott said. In the bill it takes what is a fundamental right, which is given to us by God, and recognized in the U.S. Constitution, which says we have the right to bear arms, and yet this bill says we're gonna tax that right and license the right, which is totally unacceptable," continued Parrott.
Representatives from gun-rights groups said they support going to court instead of trying to petition it to the ballot. Frederick County Delegate Michael Hough says he hopes the measure is overturned in court. "What people don't understand is this bill is going to make it much harder to get your handgun," said Hough. "You have to pay a licensing fee, be fingerprinted, have a shooting range to shoot at, and if you're living in a place like Baltimore City, I don't know if there are even a lot of public ranges around," he said.
Parrott said he is confident the measure is unconstitutional.
The bill, proposed by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, makes the state's already-strong gun laws among the toughest in the nation. Under the bill, Maryland would become the first state in nearly 20 years to require people who buy a handgun to submit fingerprints to State Police. The measure also bans 45 types of assault weapons, although people who own them now will be able to keep them.
O'Malley is expected to sign the bill in early May. "Shortly after is when the court challenge will begin," said Parrott.