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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Governor Wes Moore Signs Three Pieces of Lifesaving Gun Safety Legislation into Law; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

May 16, 2024

Over 1,000 Messages Were Sent to Maryland Lawmakers Urging Them to Vote Yes on the Legislation Enacted Today

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Today, the Maryland chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements applauding Governor Wes Moore for signing three pieces of lifesaving legislation into law: HB947, which will help hold bad actors in the firearm industry accountable when their misconduct harms Marylanders, SB475, to create a Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention, and HB810, which will expand the definition of ‘rapid fire trigger activator’ to include auto sears, also known as Glock switches, banning these deadly devices in the state. Today’s victory comes after volunteers advocated tirelessly in support of these measures over the course of this year’s legislative sessions, including at their annual advocacy day.  

“Today marks the end of yet another victorious legislative session in Maryland – where the gun violence prevention movement has demonstrated our strength and now our communities will be safer for it,” said Chaplain Denise Reid, a Police Chaplain with the Baltimore Police Department and a volunteer with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As a survivor of gun violence, I know firsthand the pain caused by bad actors in the firearm industry, and now we’re one step closer to holding them accountable for their actions. We’re grateful to Governor Moore and our legislators for enacting three critical laws today. Now let’s get to work using these tools.” 

“We can’t thank the Governor and our gun-sense champions in the legislature enough for working with us to prioritize the safety of Maryland students this session,” said Kendall Sprague, a volunteer leader with the Winston Churchill High School Students Demand Action chapter. “When gun violence is the number one killer of my generation, we deserve lawmakers who will fight for our right to live free from this crisis. We know there’s no one law or policy that can end gun violence, but we’ll continue to work alongside our leaders to create a safer future in our communities – that’s a promise.” 

These three measures enacted into law today will further strengthen Maryland’s gun violence prevention laws, already ranking 8th in the country for the strength of its gun safety laws. Details on these three measures include: 

  • HB947 will create a pathway to accountability for bad actors by setting minimum standards that firearm industry members who do business in the state must follow to prevent harm, and enable victims of gun violence in Maryland–with the aid of the Attorney General, Baltimore City Solicitor, and county attorneys – to hold them accountable in civil court should they fail to uphold these standards.  
  • SB475 will create a Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention under the Department of Public Health, which will increase collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, The Maryland State Police, and other Maryland stakeholders. This office will also place an emphasis on supporting communities and community partners that are most exposed to gun violence and promote the development of evidence-based firearm violence prevention initiatives in affected communities. 
  • HB810, which will expand the definition of ‘rapid fire trigger activator’ to include auto sears, also known as Glock switches, banning these deadly devices in the state. It will also prohibit anyone in Maryland from transporting a rapid fire activator into the State or manufacturing, possessing, selling, offering for sale, transferring, purchasing, or receiving a rapid fire activator. Auto sears are deadly firearm accessories that convert handguns into illegal machine guns. 

In an average year, 799 people die by guns in Maryland and another 1,745 are wounded. Gun violence costs Maryland $10.5 billion each year, of which $383.9 million is paid by taxpayers. 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.

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