The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun control bill Tuesday evening after Republican lawmakers offered a flurry of amendments, most of which failed by wide margins.
Five-plus hours of debate. The House convened at about 4:30 p.m. and, after spending less than a half hour getting a few other bills out of the way, spent the rest of the evening debating amendments to SB 281. The House finally adjourned at 10:24 p.m., after fighting off the amendments and giving a quick, final OK to a landmark plan to renovate Baltimore’s schools.
19 amendments to SB 281 were rejected, every one of them offered by members of the Republican minority.
Four amendments were adopted, three of them offered by Democrats and one offered by a Republican. The amendments were accepted as “friendly” by the bill’s floor leader, Del. Kathleen M. Dumais, a Montgomey County Democrat and vice chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, meaning they were negotiated and accepted ahead of time by Democratic leaders.
One amendment was withdrawn that would have forced courts to notify a person who received probation before judgment for a “crime of violence” that they could not own a firearm under SB 281. But Del. Richard K. Impallaria, R-Baltimore County and Harford County, could offer his amendment again on Wednesday.
25 total amendments were offered during the House debate.
57-57-1 was the closest vote on an amendment, which would have given off-duty police officers the right to carry their firearms on school property.
19 delegates were off the floor of the House during that vote, making it closer than it would have been otherwise. Following the vote, House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, told delegates to take their seats.
93-36 was the most lopsided vote, defeating an amendment from Impallaria that would have let those sentenced to probation before judgment own a gun once their record is expunged.
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