As the Maryland legislature convenes for their 2023 legislative session today, lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass common sense gun safety measures. The state has made significant progress over the past several legislative cycles to combat gun violence, hold gun manufacturers accountable, and advocate for police accountability. In 2020, the legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto to require background checks on all rifle and shotgun sales in the state and passed sweeping legislation to address police violence. Building on this success, during the 2022 legislation session, the state banned the manufacture, possession and sale of unserialized, untraceable ghost guns.
This year, there is more work to do to save lives from gun violence. Maryland’s strong concealed carry permitting law was undermined by the United States Supreme Court’s dangerous decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen – which significantly lowered the bar for who can carry concealed handguns in public in Maryland and will likely result in many more people carrying guns in places where guns do not belong. Under the new executive leadership of gun sense champion Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore, Maryland lawmakers are well positioned to take proactive and innovative gun safety measures that will address the dangers created by the Bruen decision — starting with taking action to strengthen Maryland’s concealed carry permitting laws and passing legislation that will ban guns from sensitive locations like daycares, mass transit, and bars and other places where alcohol is served.
Lawmakers will also have an opportunity to hold bad actors in the firearms industry accountable, and build on their important work to address police violence by ending qualified immunity — which would help address the lethal combination of systemic racism and police violence which all too often results in the tragic deaths and injuries particularly amongst Black and Latinx Marylanders.
Maryland Moms Demand Action volunteers held over 900 volunteer actions for gun sense candidates throughout the state and look forward to partnering with the legislature, Governor-elect Wes Moore, and other gun safety advocates this upcoming session to pass comprehensive gun safety laws that will protect all of Maryland’s communities.
Here’s what you need to know about gun violence in Maryland:
- An average of 743 people die by guns a year, and 1,363 people are wounded
- The rate of gun deaths increased by 46% from 2011 to 2020
- An average of 474 people die by gun homicide a year
- Black people are 3.4 times more likely to die by guns than white people
- Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Maryland. In Maryland, an average of 64 children and teens die by guns every year, and 83% of these deaths are homicides.
- Gun violence costs Maryland $10.5 billion each year
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.