Annapolis, MD – The Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today applauded Maryland State Senator Jamin (Jamie) Raskin and State Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Samuel Rosenberg for introducing legislation designed to protect women and families from their abusers by closing an existing gap in gun laws.
“Keeping guns out of the hands of convicted abusers is just common sense,” said Moms Demand Action Maryland Chapter Leader Liz Banach. “This legislation would enact a sensible provision to enforce current Maryland law and protect women and families from their abusers. We’re ecstatic that our state legislators are stepping up and prioritizing the safety of Maryland moms and kids.”
Current Maryland and federal law prohibits firearm possession by abusers subject to active protective orders, and there is a process in place for these abusers to turn in the guns they own when they become prohibited. However, while federal and Maryland law also prohibits firearm possession by people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes, there is no similar process in place for these criminals to turn in their guns.
Senate Bill 530 and House Bill 857 lay out a process for domestic abusers who become prohibited from firearm possession as a result of a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to turn in their guns to law enforcement or a federally licensed firearms dealer.
“The existing loophole in the law means that dangerous people who have just been convicted of domestic abuse are able to leave the courthouse and go home to their guns, even though they are prohibited from possessing them,” said State Senator Jamie Raskin. “This is unacceptable. We cannot let convicted abusers do more harm simply because there is a gap in the law, and we must act to protect the safety of families across Maryland.”
“Families who have experienced domestic violence deserve the full support and protection the law can afford,” said Delegate Kathleen Dumais. “This bill simply upholds current Maryland and federal law by preventing convicted abusers from having ready access to guns. We must act to pass this legislation quickly so victims of violence can have peace of mind.”
“I’m happy to join Senator Raskin and Delegate Dumais to stand for the rights of women and children in Maryland by introducing this legislation,” said Delegate Samuel Rosenberg. “This is a simple bill that will fix a potentially deadly problem, and it’s imperative that our fellow lawmakers take swift action to pass it.”