This Marks the Second Time the Maryland Legislature Has Overridden a Veto This Session
Vote Comes Just Days After an Off-Duty Pentagon Police Officer Shot and Killed Two People in Takoma, Maryland
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, applauded lawmakers in the House of Delegates for voting to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of SB71, SB178, and HB670, police reform bills which are a crucial part of a comprehensive package, known collectively as the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021. Another bill in the package, SB600, passed into law without a signature.
“Governor Hogan should be ashamed of himself,” said Danielle Veith, a volunteer with Maryland Moms Demand Action. “Not only is this the second time in as many years he has vetoed comprehensive gun safety laws with bipartisan support, but he did it following another police shooting in our community and while we watch the trial of another police officer who killed George Floyd. We are grateful that the legislature has overridden this senseless veto and is once again listening to the will of constituents by ensuring these bills become law.”
This session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters made over 300 emails and over 700 calls, in addition to numerous tweets, in support of police reform legislation.
The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 includes numerous measures to prevent police violence and create the transparency and accountability necessary to earn the trust of Maryland communities, including strong statewide standards to prevent the excessive use of force, restricting the use of no-knock search warrants and requiring the use of body-worn cameras.
More information on the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021:
- Repeals Maryland’s so-called Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, a set of laws that for decades has hindered efforts to hold officers who abuse their authority accountable.
- Establishes a new system for the investigation and imposition of discipline for cases of officer misconduct, one that includes strong civilian oversight and ensures a system that is transparent, accessible and consistent across the state. It also requires independent investigations into all killings of civilians by police officers.
- Ensures that records relating to police misconduct are accessible to the public, provides early intervention systems for officers whose behavior indicates they might pose a risk of violence, prevents state law enforcement agencies from obtaining military surplus equipment, and provides counseling and employee assistance services for law enforcement officers.
Data from Mapping Police Violence shows that between 2013 and 2020, 144 people were killed by police in Maryland, the majority with guns. Read more about police reform policies here.
This year, the Maryland chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action helped pass legislation to require background checks on all gun sales. After Governor Hogan vetoed the bill last May, volunteers immediately called for a veto override — which happened in February. In January, more than 300 volunteers with Maryland Moms Demand Action gathered on a new virtual platform for their annual advocacy day.
Additional information on gun violence in Maryland is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how Maryland’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.