Sweeping new gun laws in Connecticut and Maryland are being called some of the strongest and most comprehensive gun laws in the nation.
In Maryland, the House and Senate just passed a bill that would force residents to submit fingerprints to buy a handgun and limit magazines to 10 bullets.
The measure is now on its way to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, who proposed the legislation. Gun control advocates say the fingerprinting requirement will keep guns away from criminals.
"We're not naive in thinking it's going to cut down on all the violence and everything like that, but it's a step in the right direction in terms of trying to compact the straw purchases and the illegal guns," Del. Keiffer Mitchell, D-Baltimore City, said.
In Connecticut, Gov. Daniel Malloy signed a 139-page gun control bill into law.
"This is a profoundly emotional day, I think, for everyone in this room and everyone watching what is transpiring today in the state of Connecticut," Malloy said before signing the bill Thursday. "We have come together in a new way that relatively few places in our nation have demonstrated an ability to do."
The bill expands the current state ban on assault weapons. It requires background checks for all firearms sales and it bans the sale or purchase of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The bill also addresses mental health of potential gun buyers and school security measures.
Lawmakers there still feel the loss of the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December.
"It certainly will help us here in Connecticut feel safer and more confident that this won't happen again," David Freedman, treasurer of the Newtown Action Alliance, said.
Critics argue, however, that it does nothing to stop someone like Adam Lanza, who was not a law-abiding citizen and stole the guns he used.
And another lawmaker said, "making it more onerous, more cumbersome, more burdensome on law-abiding citizens of our state is not the solution."
The Wall Street Journal reports that this year, five states have passed laws strengthening gun restrictions.
But the march to expand gun rights hasn't exactly slowed in the wake Sandy Hook massacre. In fact, many pro-gun laws are gaining ground.
Ten states have passed laws that weaken gun restrictions, including Arkansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Kentucky.
A recent CBS News poll shows that 47 percent of Americans support stricter gun-control laws, down from a peak of 57 percent just after the Sandy Hook shooting.
Next week, Congress is set to take up nationwide proposals to curb gun violence. If the vote passes the Senate, it faces an even tougher vote in the Republican-controlled House.