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House gun control debate, by the numbers

The House of Delegates spent about six hours in session Tuesday evening, more than five of it debating the gun control bill. (Alexander Pyles/The Daily Record)

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.

The House is expected to hold a final vote on Senate Bill 281 on Wednesday. But first, here’s a recap of what happened Tuesday night, by the numbers:

  • 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  • One amendment was withdrawn that would have forced courts to notify a person who received probation before judgment for a “crime of violence” that they could not own a firearm under SB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.

One comment

  1. Expanded background checks will be abused.

    First instance of abuse is where the background checks are used to create in illegal national gun registry.

    The powers that be… can also lower the bar so that a person with a small misdemeanor for a bar fight back when they were in college is considered a prohibited person. In some states / cities excessive speeding or downloading a lot of music can get you a felony charge. Felonies are no longer restricted to violent crimes. How long before spitting on the sidewalk prohibits you from owning a gun?

    Then they have the whole domestic violence side they are trying to stretch to include just grabbing someone’s wrist or shoving someone out of your way as you walk out the door. No end to the amount of abuse that background checks will eventually lead to.

    In NYC if you have a gun permit, the police randomly call your house and ask your family members if you every display any signs of stress or great anger… and then pick at that. The wrong answers by your family will get your permit revoked.

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is to prevent future tyranny.

    “When the govt fears the people there is liberty. When the people fear govt there is tyranny” – Thomas Jefferson

    ”Those who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” -Benjamin Franklin