The overwhelming majority of gun violence is committed with a handgun, therefore it is essential that public firearm policy address this fact. In Maryland, to qualify for a handgun purchaser license, you must first pass a finger-print based background check through law enforcement and complete a gun safety course. Handgun licensing combined with background checks prevents prohibited people, like felons and domestic abusers, from gaining access to handguns.
The web site, A Tale of Two States, details two major studies from the JH Center for Gun Policy and Research that show the impact of handgun licensing on reducing homicides and suicides. Maryland passed a handgun purchaser licensing law in 2013.
The online publication, The Trace, delves into the benefits of handgun purchaser licensing (also called ‘permit-to-purchase’) in an article from 2015: https://www.thetrace.org/2015/07/gun-permit-to-purchase-permits-van-hollen-federal/
Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act
The Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act authorizes a grant program at the Department of Justice to encourage states to establish permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns, including at gun shows and with private sellers.