Monday will mark the end of the legislative session in Maryland and the last chance for lawmakers to advance HB 786, legislation to require background checks on all sales of rifles and shotguns in the state.
Under current Maryland law, sales of rifles and shotguns by unlicensed sellers do not require a background check. That makes it easy for convicted felons, domestic abusers and other people who are legally prohibited from having guns to purchase these deadly weapons by finding unlicensed sellers through sales arranged online or at gun shows. Maryland already requires background checks on all handgun sales.
Volunteers with Moms Demand Action joined with survivors of gun violence at a rally on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to take action on HB 786 before the end of the session. And on Monday, Dr. Paul Nestadt, a medical professional and researcher at John Hopkins, advocated for the legislation in the Baltimore Sun as a way to reduce gun suicides in Maryland.
New research in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, authored by Dr. Michael Siegel and others at the Boston University School of Public Health, found that states that require a background check on all gun sales had homicide rates 15 percent lower than states without them.
With just days left until the end of session, it should be clear what Maryland lawmakers need to do — advance HB 786 and get the strongest possible version of the legislation on the governor’s desk.
If you have any further questions about the legislation or would like to speak to volunteers with Maryland Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, please don’t hesitate to reach out.