A 21- state coalition asks federal appeals court to overturn part of Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act.

Lawmakers in this state and around the country are pressuring this state to repeal the sweeping gun control measures passed last year, but Governor-elect Larry Hogan promises he will keep the law in place.

A coalition of 21 states led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asked a federal appeals court to overturn part of this state’s Firearm Safety Act, which Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law in 2013.

The highly controversial law banned 45 assault weapons, limited the capacity of gun magazines to 10 rounds and required fingerprint licensing to buy handguns.

“It really is none of their business, this law is protecting Marylanders,” said Vincent Demarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence. “What they’re challenging is the ban on assault weapons, the kind of gun that killed so many kids in Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. … They need to be banned, they were banned and Maryland certainly has the authority to protect its citizens from these guns.”

But several state lawmakers disagree about the ban. Del. Michael Smigiel (R-District 36)introduced a bill to the House that would repeal the Firearm Safety Act, and said the law infringes on citizens’ right to bear arms.“It’s easy to defend the Constitution when it’s not under attack,” Smigiel said. “But you’ve got the blood of children and the governor comes in and says we’re going to use that as a reason to take away your Second Amendment rights.”

Smigiel also gave several reasons why the law is ineffective, mainly stating that state police background checks are not consistent with the federal system, so a criminal could cross state lines and purchase guns more easily.

UMD College Republicans President Breyer Hillegas said he thinks people should have the right to carry guns because they can protect people and save lives when used responsibly.

“When a criminal breaks the law, you can’t blame society for an individual’s actions, that person is accountable,” Hillegas said. “It would be great if we could some way limit the guns for criminals, but changing the laws only affects the people who abide the laws. It doesn’t affect the people who are criminals anyway.”

During this fall’s gubernatorial campaign, Democrats repeatedly attacked Hogan for his position on gun control, specifically regarding the National Rifle Association’s endorsement of Hogan.

“This endorsement is based on Hogan’s support for and commitment to the Second Amendment. Larry Hogan respects the rule of law and the Second Amendment rights of Maryland’s law-abiding citizens,” an NRA news release said.

Hogan repeatedly promised throughout the campaign that he would not roll back the state’s gun control measures, and his spokesman Wednesday confirmed his position hasn’t changed.

“If we get bogged down on tinkering around with law in Maryland on controversial issues, we’re never going be able to work together across party lines to fix our broken economy,” said Adam Dubitsky, Hogan’s spokesman.

Attorney General-Elect Brian Frosh sponsored the Firearm Safety Act, and he said he hopes Hogan will stick to his promises.

“The Firearm Safety Act will save lives throughout our state,” Frosh said. “We can reduce crime, we can reduce injuries and deaths from gun violence as a result of that bill.”

Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Anne Arundel and Prince George’s) said he is not worried about Hogan repealing the law because it would require approval from the legislature, which is heavily Democratic.

“This is particularly important for people who study and work at the University of Maryland because we’ve had gun violence that affected people in the community,” Rosapepe said, citing a February 2013 murder-suicide near the campus in which two students were killed.

“This is not a theoretical issue for those of us who live in College Park. I think it’s important that we work every way to protect people in the community, College Park and the university,” he said.