The Maryland House has approved a bill that would limit handgun purchases by felons, domestic abusers, fugitives, fugitive spouses, and certain individuals who have a history of violent crimes.
The legislation would also require law enforcement agencies to report to the governor a list of firearms owners that are prohibited from purchasing guns.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Joseph M. Barrett, D-Montgomery, passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 19-2.
The Maryland Senate approved the measure on Friday by a 17-14 vote.
The House version of the bill now goes to the Senate.
In the past, the House has passed laws to restrict handgun purchases and other items related to felons.
The last law was signed in 2015.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the House measure.
It also cleared a vote on the Senate version on Friday.
The measure will now go to Gov.
Larry Hogan, who is expected to sign it into law in the coming weeks.
The new law will allow for an emergency exemption for a person who is involuntarily committed or who is being treated for mental illness.
If a person in this category is found to have been the victim of a crime or to have violated the terms of his or her release, the person will be exempt from the sale of the firearm.
The person must also submit proof that they are eligible for a waiver of the law.
The governor can waive the law for the specific purpose of preventing the person from purchasing a firearm.
In a statement released Friday, Barrett said the bill will be effective immediately.
The amendment allows the Maryland Attorney General to review and approve any exceptions that are made to the law in light of the new state law.
“We are glad to see this bill pass,” Barrett said.
“The Maryland Attorney Generals office will continue to work with the legislature and Governor Hogan on our common goal to protect our children, our families and our communities from dangerous criminals.
We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that Maryland’s gun laws are enforced.”
The legislation is not expected to make it through the House before the end of the year.
The state’s Attorney General’s office released a statement Friday saying the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Public Safety will be reviewing the law’s impact on criminals and gun owners.
“While the law does not ban all handgun sales, it does make it clear that any person who has been convicted of a felony, has been adjudicated as a domestic violence offender or a fugitive or who has a prior felony conviction must be barred from purchasing any firearm,” said Lt.
Col. David C. Jones, a state police spokesman.
“Our focus will continue on ensuring that individuals with violent criminal records can’t obtain firearms, and that those convicted of misdemeanors cannot legally obtain firearms.”
The Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents law enforcement officers, said in a statement that the bill is necessary to ensure law enforcement personnel have the tools they need to protect and serve their communities.
“I commend the House and Senate for passing this commonsense legislation that will make Maryland safer for our families, our officers and the people we serve,” said Robert F. Davis, president of the association.
“As a private citizen who serves as a member of our law enforcement community, I am deeply disappointed that the House voted to pass this legislation and the Senate rejected it.
The current gun laws have created a deadly environment for law enforcement, especially in our city of Baltimore.
We urge Gov.
Hogan and the legislature to quickly enact legislation that would prevent violent felons from buying guns and other firearm-related items and to repeal the law that has made Maryland a safe place to do business.”
Maryland has a concealed carry permit law.
Maryland also has a limited-time permit system, which allows individuals to carry a concealed weapon in a limited number of locations.