Gun safety advocates and champions rallied at the Maryland Statehouse for lawmakers to strengthen Maryland’s concealed carry permitting laws, hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable, and repeal qualified immunity
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Today, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Comptroller Brooke Lierman, Maryland State Senators Jeff Waldstreicher and Will Smith, Maryland State Delegates Jheanelle Wilkins, Vanessa Atterbeary, Luke Clippinger, Everytown’s Angela Ferrell-Zabala, and more than 400 Maryland Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers called for action on gun safety during their annual Advocacy Day in Annapolis. Comptroller Brooke Lierman also hosted a breakfast for the Everytown Survivor network. This year’s Advocacy Day coincides with the celebration of 10 years of Moms Demand Action’s life-saving work to protect our families and communities from gun violence.
“The advocacy work of Moms Demand Action is invaluable to our state and our nation. As Governor, one of my chief responsibilities as your leader is to make Maryland a safer place to live, work, and grow,” said Governor Wes Moore. “I vow to make public safety a top priority, and work in partnership with our legislators, local officials, law enforcement, mental health advocates and community organizations to live up to that responsibility.”
“After I lost my son to gun violence, I wanted to make sure that I honored his legacy — Moms Demand Action has given me the community and platform to make sure other parents don’t have to experience the same grief of having their child shot and killed,” said Denise Reid, a Baltimore police chaplain and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action. Denise’s son, Tavon Terrell Waters Sr., was shot while stopped at a traffic light on October 18, 2006. He was paralyzed from the neck down, then died from his injuries on April 1, 2009 at 25-years-old. “Showing up today in Annapolis surrounded by gun sense lawmakers and fellow gun safety advocates is a reminder that we all have a part to play in protecting our communities and I am looking forward to the work we will accomplish this session to pass common sense gun laws.”
“Over the past 10 years, our volunteers have tirelessly fought for safer gun policies and against dangerous gun laws that threaten the safety of our communities and our families. Maryland Moms Demand Action volunteers have been on the front lines of this fight, from disarming domestic abusers and requiring background checks on all gun sales, to prohibiting ghost guns and preventing police violence,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, senior vice president of movement building at Everytown. “This legislative session, with the election of a gun sense trifecta, Maryland is positioned to take bold action to fight for new gun safety laws and ensure that its existing laws are fully implemented so they keep Marylanders safe. Our volunteers stand ready to support Maryland to continue its leadership until every Marylander is safe from gun violence.”
Volunteers have had major electoral and legislative wins for the gun safety movement. During the 2022 election cycle, three volunteers ran for office including, Delegate Kris Fair (D-District 3) who won his seat in Frederick, Maryland. Moms Demand Action volunteers also held over 900 volunteer actions for our gun sense candidates. The Maryland chapter now has more than 160 volunteer leaders – and growing – and 13 local groups across the state.
Thanks to our volunteers, Maryland has changed the calculus on gun safety. They have passed landmark legislation in Maryland including the Firearm Safety Act, the Protect Maryland Survivors Act, and last session after four years of advocacy got the Ghost Guns Prohibition bill passed. This session volunteers look forward to continuing to demonstrate leadership in the gun safety movement by passing the Gun Safety Act — a bill to strengthen Maryland’s concealed carry permitting law in response to the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision in Bruen, and to make sure that guns are not allowed in places they don’t belong like bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, stadiums, and polling places, as well as legislation to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in our gun violence crisis, and to end qualified immunity to ensure accountability for law enforcement officials who abuse their power.
In an average year in Maryland, 743 people die by guns and 1,363 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Maryland $10.5 billion each year. More information on gun violence in Maryland is available here.
To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.