In the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, Maryland lawmakers passed the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 that made it harder for people to buy handguns and banned the sale of 45 shotguns, rifles and semi-automatic rifles. Two years later, it's clear that the law had a dramatic impact on gun purchases in Maryland.
A Rush to Buy Before the Law
Immediately before the law took effect in October, there was a spike in background checks as buyers rushed to purchase guns (like semi-automatic AK-47s) that would be banned under the law or avoid new licensing requirements for purchase of a handgun.
The low levels in October 2013 and onward reflect two realities: the law made it more onerous to purchase handguns and it banned 45 guns that previously required a regulated firearms application to purchase.