As the Maryland legislature convenes for their 2022 legislative session today, state lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass common sense gun safety measures. 2021 was marked by staggering levels of gun violence fueled by the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda. As the stress and rippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic extend into the new year, meaningful action on gun safety remains more critical than ever.
This year, lawmakers should continue the progress they made last year to protect Marylanders by supporting gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, starting with taking action on the growing threat of ghost guns and ending qualified immunity to create police accountability and prevent police violence.
What to know about ghost guns in Maryland:
- A ghost gun is a do-it-yourself, homemade gun made from easy-to-get building blocks that can be purchased with no background check and no questions asked. These guns are made by an individual, not a federally licensed manufacturer or importer.
- Ghost guns have been turning up with alarming frequency at crime scenes in Baltimore and across the state.
- Between 2016 and 2019, more than 12,000 ghost gun kits were shipped to Maryland. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) reported 117 ghost guns being recovered in the state in 2019. In Montgomery County alone, 73 ghost guns were recovered in 2020, compared to 60 recovered between 2017 and 2019. By November 2021, Baltimore Police had recovered 294 ghost guns, up from 126 in 2020 and 29 in 2019.
- By prioritizing the passage of legislation that would prohibit ghost guns, Maryland lawmakers can help stop these untraceable weapons from flooding our state and worsening our gun violence crisis.
- More information about ghost guns is available here.
State lawmakers also have an opportunity to meaningfully address the lethal combination of systemic racism and police violence, which all too often results in the tragic deaths and injuries of far too many Marylanders — particularly Black and Latinx people.
Maryland Moms Demand Action will be advocating for legislation this upcoming state legislative session that would end qualified immunity and ensure transparency and accountability in cases where police officers abuse their authority and harm those they are sworn to protect, providing our communities with safeguards against, and recourse for, instances of police misconduct.
Here’s what you need to know about gun violence in Maryland:
- In an average year in Maryland, 724 people die by guns, and 1,747 more are wounded.
- Every year, an average of 459 people in Maryland die by gun homicides and 784 are wounded by gun assaults; Maryland has the 14th-highest rate of gun homicides and gun assaults in the US.
- Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Maryland. In Maryland, an average of 58 children and teens die by guns every year, and 82% of these deaths are homicides.
- Gun violence costs Maryland $5.7 billion each year, of which $375.8 million is paid by taxpayers.
If you have any questions, or would like to request an interview with a volunteer from Maryland Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.