10 guns likely to drop from proposed ban list

February 14, 1992|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,Annapolis Bureau John W. Frece of the Annapolis Bureau contributed to this article.

ANNAPOLIS -- A House of Delegates work group plans to recommend today that 10 firearms be removed from the list of 48 assault weapons the governor wants banned.

The 10 weapons should not be banned because they don't truly meet the definition of military-style assault weapons, the delegates decided.

Instead, they said, those firearms should be included on a list of weapons for which Maryland requires a seven-day waiting period and police background check before sale, if the guns are not on the list already.

One of the guns removed from the banned list is the Colt AR-15. A 31-year-old mother of three told lawmakers Monday that she kept an AR-15 at home and once used it to scare away burglars without firing a shot.

The Schaefer administration bill would outlaw future sales of assault weapons but allow current owners to keep them. Supporters say it will help curb drug-related violence, but opponents contend it will only hurt law-abiding sportsmen and gun owners.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to receive the work group's amendments and vote on the bill today, said Chairman John S. Arnick, D-Baltimore County.

The work group also will ask the committee to ease somewhat its ban on large magazines for firearms.

House Majority Leader D. Bruce Poole, D-Washington, predicted the bill would pass the committee and the entire House if the amendments were accepted. "People say this is not a cure for the crime problem, and they're right. But it is one more piece of the picture," Mr. Poole said.

The bill's backers weren't upset by removal of the 10 weapons, conceding privately that those guns weren't the real target of the bill.

David S. Iannucci, the chief lobbyist for Gov. William Donald Schaefer, said he found the amendments to be acceptable. "It provides adequate regulation for those [10] weapons while banning the weapons" used by drug dealers, he said.

Today in Annapolis

10 a.m.: Senate convenes, State House.

11 a.m.: House convenes, State House.

1 p.m.: Senate Budget and Taxation Committee considers state takeovers of Baltimore City state's attorney's office and Circuit Court, Room 100, Senate Office Building.

2 p.m.: House Appropriations subcommittee considers budgets for state School for the Deaf and governor's Office of Children, Youth and Family, Room 130 House Office Building.

There are 53 days remaining in the 1992 General Assembly session.

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