ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA9) -- The gun debate is picking up steam in the Maryland General Assembly, as lawmakers finish their last full week of the session.
The measure barely passed committee but is now one step closer to reaching Governor Martin O'Malley's desk. First, bill supporters must get past the thousands of gun advocates and members of the National Rifle Association who say the bill infringes upon their rights.
Shannon Alford with the NRA says the provision that mandates gun owners submit fingerprints to the FBI is a lengthy, expensive process that violates their right to bear arms. But supporters like Democratic Senator Brian Frosh says thousands of Marylanders are fingerprinted including teachers and day care providers.
Other provisions include banning so called assault style weapons and limiting magazine rounds to 10 bullets. Supporters say that is the most important component of the bill that is also proving to be the most controversial.
"When you're in a situation where your life or your families life is threatened, " says Shannon Alford with the NRA, "you call the police, why because they have firearms. They respond within minutes when seconds really count."
The General Assembly's 90 day session ends April 8th.