Maryland is the next state set to enact stricter gun legislation in the months following the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Maryland General Assembly approved a bill Thursday that bans more than 40 types of assault weapons, limits magazines to 10 bullets, expands the list of mental health patients restricted from buying guns, and requires people who buy a handgun to submit their fingerprints to state police.
The victory for gun control advocates comes after Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed sweeping new gun legislation into law on Wednesday. The Maryland legislation is now just waiting for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s signature.
O’Malley, who proposed the law, used this victory in a fundraising push to national Democrats to get stricter gun control laws passed on the federal level. He referenced the Maryland measure in an email to supporters:
“We had to work harder than ever before to pass it into law. The interest groups who oppose actions to reduce gun violence are powerful, entrenched, and well-financed, and they fought us every step of the way in Maryland–just as they’re fighting tooth and nail to block any action at the federal level.”
Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis told msnbc’s Chris Jansing Friday that although gun control advocates are seeing some movement within the states, it’s still very much an uphill battle to get any new legislation through Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some senators are now being pushed to filibuster possible new restrictions on guns.
“I don’t think we stand in a great place. I think we’ve lost some of the momentum after the Newtown shootings,” said Kofinis. “I can’t imagine they would have thought about filibustering this a month and a half or two months ago.”
He added that as more Newtown families go public and talk about their loss, public consciousness about the issue starts to move again.
“The families here, and unfortunately that’s the political reality of it, are going to be a key factor in whether these Republicans will move or not.”