Lawmakers will have another opportunity to pass common-sense gun safety legislation in the new year as Maryland’s session begins on Wednesday. The top priority: legislation that would require background checks on all sales of rifles and shotguns in the state. Here’s what to know about the policy in 2020:
- Currently Maryland’s law does not require a background check on the sales of rifles and shotguns by unlicensed sellers. That makes it easy for convicted felons, domestic abusers and other people who are legally prohibited from having guns to obtain these deadly weapons from unlicensed sellers through sales arranged online or at gun shows.
- For more than two decades, Maryland law has required background checks on all handgun sales. And while handguns are responsible for the majority of gun homicides in Maryland, rifles and shotguns can be every bit as deadly. The tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom stands as a reminder of the deadly consequences when long guns and shotguns fall into the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.
- Last session, Maryland Moms Demand Action volunteers spent countless hours pushing lawmakers to close the loopholes that allow the sales of rifles and shotguns without background checks. In October, Maryland Moms Demand Action applauded the pre-filing of background check legislation. With the legislation ready to move, it is time to make sure all gun sales in Maryland require a background check.
For more information: statistics about gun violence in Maryland are available here, and information on how Maryland’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.
If you have any questions about the legislation or would like to speak with a volunteer with Maryland Moms Demand Action chapter, please do not hesitate to reach out.