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Maryland gun law keeping gun ranges busy

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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -

On Oct. 1st, sweeping new rules go into effect pertaining to gun and ammunition sales in Maryland. The NRA opposed the changes in the law, as did many gun owners who demonstrated in Annapolis.

But relatively new shooting enthusiasts say they can live with the changes. We met a couple of them, today, at the Maryland Small Arms Range in Prince George's County.

42-year old Nicole Moore does not own a firearm. In fact, today was the first time she ever pulled the trigger on a gun. She asked a friend, Davien Locke, who happens to be a sheriff's deputy, to show her the ropes on a variety of weapons. Why? "[It's] just something different, something new, something exciting," explained Moore.

24-year old Rachel D'Elia also shot for the first time today. "It was a little loud, but, other than that, there wasn't a lot of kickback," said D'Elia. "We used a Smith and Wesson, and it wasn't heavy. It was a lot easier than I thought."

These women are taking up firearms at a time when the Maryland legislature has moved to impose significant restrictions on gun sales starting October first. "It's basically like a 'pre-approval' to buy a handgun," explained Jack Donald, a senior employee at the gun shop and shooting range. "And that's going to involve a four hour training block (with some exceptions), fingerprinting, and a fifty dollar fee to the state for this handgun qualification license."

Gun salesman Jack Donald is not a particular fan of the new sales restrictions, but our new shooters don't seem to mind the toughened rules.

"I think they should have background checks. I really do," said Nicole Moore, who said she may wind up purchasing a gun in coming months.

Shannon Stalker, a Kindergarten teacher, agreed: "I don't mind having to go through the hoops to [buy a gun]. AND, OF COURSE, A BACKGROUND CHECK. YOU DON'T MIND DOING THAT? Nope. I've had that before. Yeah, we've all had that [done] for work and stuff..."

If Stalker, Moore or D'Elia want to purchase an assault rifle, however, they must do so before October 1st. On that date, selling those weapons will be illegal in Maryland.


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