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Gun Bill Advances; Sales Too

Judicial Proceedings Committee makes changes to mental health provisions.

Last night, Governor O’Malley’s gun control legislation moved from the Judicial Proceedings Committee to the full Senate floor. But the bill has changed; the Gazette has an overview,  and a Washington Post piece describes how the new version would have prevented University of Maryland student Dayvon Greene from getting the gun he used to kill one roommate and shoot the other last week.

And gun sales? Nationally, CNNMoney reports that Wal-Mart is rationing ammunition, and the FBI’s criminal background check system for firearms has had some if its busiest weeks ever in the wake of the December 14th mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Note that two of the top ten weeks for checks happened before Newtown (weeks 8 and 9), and one of the top ten weeks (number 5) was the week of the Newtown shooting. Of course, a background check is not the same as a sale. 

Locally, in this video report from WJLA, Maryland State Police received 26,000 applications for gun ownership from December 6, 2012 to February 6, 2013. In 2010, they received 38,000 for the entire year. Also, gun sales might be even higher in Maryland if customers didn’t have to wait for the state’s 7-day waiting period, or if supply could keep up with demand. Allen Etzler of Capital News Service described his personal gun-buying experience, which took 13 days in all.