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Maryland OKs tough gun-control law promoted by governor

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) attends a St. Patrick's Day reception at the White House in Washington, March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jon
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) attends a St. Patrick's Day reception at the White House in Washington, March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jon

By Lacey Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Maryland's state Senate approved one of the country's toughest gun-control bills on Thursday, paving the way for the measure to be signed into law by the governor, who pushed for the legislation.

The state joins Colorado, New York and Connecticut in passing stiff gun-control measures after the December massacre of 20 school children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

Maryland's Democratic-led Senate voted 28-19 to approve the measure, which was passed by the Democratic-controlled state House of Delegates on Wednesday.

The legislation includes a ban on dozens of assault weapons and limits on magazine size. The Senate approved an earlier version of the bill last month.

It now goes to Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley to be signed into law.

The Maryland legislation limits magazine capacity to 10 bullets, requires that gun buyers be fingerprinted and licensed, and places new limits on weapons purchases by the mentally ill.

It also bans more than 40 types of existing assault rifles, including all models of the AR-15. That weapon was used in the Newtown attack, by accused Aurora, Colorado, shooter James Holmes, and by Washington's "Beltway sniper" in 2002.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Cooney)

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