A state task force looking into gun access by the mentally ill held its first meeting this week — a largely informational session.
The Task Force to Study Access of Individuals with Mental Illness to Regulated Firearms, which is scheduled to hold three meetings, is assigned to make recommendations on the stateís laws.
The first meeting covered current laws, categories of mental illnesses covered by the laws and the restoration of firearms rights for those who have their weapons confiscated, said Bill Toohey, spokesman for the Governorís Office of Crime Control and Prevention.
The 12-member task force is expected to issue a final report sometime in December for the legislature to review.
The task force was formed before the recent spate of high-profile mass slayings in Colorado and Wisconsin, but state officials have said those incidents are heightening the need for the task forceís work.
Maryland requires gun buyers to disclose if they have any mental health issues when they fill out their paperwork. But police officers told The Gazette in July that it is not unusual to find multiple weapons in the home of those with mental health problems.
Maryland requires a seven-day waiting period to buy handguns and certain weapons designated as assault-types under state code, including the Colt AR-15 and its imitators, which would include the Smith & Wesson M&P15 used in the Colorado shooting.
Currently, the only prohibition on purchasers is for those who were institutionalized in a state facility for at least 30 consecutive days.