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Maryland Lawmakers Rush To Pass Bills, Including One That Bans Ghost Guns

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In less than three weeks, the Maryland General Assembly will wrap up its legislative session and lawmakers are furiously trying to pass whatever bills are still a priority.

On the issue of crime, lawmakers are still considering a bill that if it passes, would ban ghost guns

Ghost guns are untraceable guns with no serial numbers. People could buy parts online with no background check then assemble them at home.

A bill named after Officer Keona Holley is also still being considered by lawmakers. The bill is called the Officer Keona Holley Public Safety Act. If it passes, then people convicted for the murder or attempted murder of a police officer, or conspiring to kill an officer, will not be eligible for parole.

One resident told WJZ that she wants lawmakers to pass bills that will reduce crime in the state.

"I think they need to crack down on the sentencing or maybe if it's not too bad a crime, a lot of community service," says Anne Booth. "Something to try and make them sit up and take notice."

On the issue of paid family leave, there's a bill that would provide up to 12 weeks of leave for example for a new parent or someone who is sick. According to the Maryland Family Network website, only 17% of people in the United States have paid family leave—and that could force people to choose between job and family.

The Senate has already passed that bill and the House is now considering it.

"Yeah, they should get paid family leave," one man told WJZ. "I got a wife who works 40 hours a week and sometimes overtime, they don't even want to give her time off sometimes."

And then there's the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana. Both the House and Senate are working through bills that would leave the ultimate decision up to the voters come November.

"I'm pretty neutral on that—for medical purposes absolutely, otherwise I'm just quite neutral, Michael Alexander said. "Drinking and marijuana to be the same thing, if you do it in moderation and without any problem in the law it's fine."

There's one bill that has already been signed. It is now a law. That's the 30-day gas tax holiday bill. 

Maryland's Comptroller Peter Franchot is pushing for that 30-day holiday to be extended, but the ultimate decision will be up to lawmakers.

Another bill that will not pass this session, is the ability to sell alcohol in grocery stores.

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