On The Ballot: Guns and AIDS

Referendums in two states are test cases for national policy

MARYLAND

The N.R.A.Targets a Tough Law

Gun-control advocates were ecstatic last spring when the Maryland legislature passed one of the country's toughest bills limiting the manufacture and sale of cheap handguns. But even as Governor William Schaefer signed the new bill into law, the gun lobby was collecting the 33,000 signatures necessary to put it to a referendum next Tuesday. The result is the most expensive election campaign in Maryland history, a fight that pits the National Rifle Association against many of Maryland's leading politicians.

Inspired by the increase in drug-related violence, the new law takes a unique approach to controlling...

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