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House gun control debate, by the numbers

House gun control debate, by the numbers

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  • One amendment was withdrawn that would have forced courts to notify a person who received probation before judgment for a “crime of violence” that they could not own a firearm under SB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

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