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Maryland Governor wants tougher gun controls, looks to fingerprint database


Martin O’Malley, the Democratic Governor of Maryland is set to introduce a package of proposals in an effort to curb gun violence in the state, which includes a provision which would force prospective gun owners to provide fingerprints to state police, The Washington Post reports.

Attributing this information to O’Malley administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Post reports that O’Malley’s efforts are likely to further divide the two sides on the currently top-of-mind gun-control debate in the United States following the Sandy Hook tragedy in December 2012.

O’Malley, who plans to announce these proposals this week, will offer a preview of these measures on Monday, when he introduces New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a summit in Baltimore on reducing gun violence.

Currently, Maryland requires that all private transfers of guns be handled through a licensed dealer, requires purchasers to watch a safety video and also limits purchasers of gun to one per 30-day period. According to the article, Maryland is already quite restrictive but is not among the six states that ban assault weapons, though it has outlawed some semiautomatic pistols.

In O’Malley’s proposal, all prospective gun owners in the state will be required to submit to digital fingerprinting, but those seeking hunting rifles and shotguns would be exempt. Currently, those looking to carry a concealed weapon submit to fingerprinting.

O’Malley isn’t the first to consider fingerprinting as a solution to curb gun violence in the United States. As reported previously in BiometricUpdate, American Senator Dianne Feinstein has proposed a new legislation that would see all gun owners fingerprinted and photographed for positive identification.

O’Malley also considered extending this new licensing requirement to all current gun owners in Maryland, but decided not to move forward with that measure as it would be highly contested. Feinstein’s proposal would mandate federal registration and background checks on gun owners who legally purchased guns after an assault weapons ban expired in 2004.

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