Maryland to require background checks for sales of rifles, shotguns

The state of Maryland will now require background checks for the private sale of shotguns and rifles after lawmakers voted to override a veto on the measure by Governor Larry Hogan.

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Previously, sales by licensed dealers required background checks – but private sales were exempt.

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Supporters of the newly passed legislation say that made it too easy for those who are legally prohibited from having guns to obtain them from unlicensed sellers through sales arranged online or at guns shows.

Under the new legislation, licensed dealers must facilitate most transactions involving long guns.

The bill, which the Senate overrode Tuesday mandates that licensed armed dealers mediate the sale, rental or transfer of the weapons as if selling from their own shop, including conducting background checks, following state and federal laws and charging a fee.

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Lawmakers stressed that the measure contains provisions for transactions like loaning guns – a common practice among hunter – and also family members sharing weapons.