HB 1646 Would Close A Dangerous Loophole That Makes It Easy for Convicted Domestic Abusers to Access Guns
ANNAPOLIS, M.D.,– The Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today praised the House Judiciary Committee for advancing legislation that would require convicted abusers to surrender guns in their possession to law enforcement or a licensed firearms dealer. These dangerous abusers are already prohibited from possessing guns under state law, but they are not required to actually turn in the guns they own when convicted.
Research shows that nearly four out of 10 Maryland women have reported experiencing intimate partner violence in their lifetime. The costs are high: According to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, at least 187 victims died in domestic violence homicide incidents in Maryland from 2011 to 2016 – 133 of them were women and 11 were children. And guns are the weapon of choice for domestic abusers. Nearly 60 percent of domestic violence homicides in Maryland were committed using a firearm. More than four out of five these incidents were directed toward women.
Domestic violence also often claims the lives of people outside abusive relationships, including family members, friends and law enforcement officers. Recent tragedies like the killing of an off-duty police officer in Prince George’s County are reminders that responding to a domestic violence call can be incredibly dangerous for police officers. And, these calls can be deadly when abusers are armed with guns.
STATEMENT FROM ANGELA WRIGHT, VOLUNTEER WITH THE MARYLAND CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“As a survivor of domestic violence whose husband owned guns and as a former police officer, I know firsthand how dangerous domestic violence calls can be and that they often turn deadly when guns are involved. I do not want another family member or police officer to be injured or killed because a convicted abuser who was prohibited from having a gun never handed in the guns they already owned. We are particularly grateful for Delegate Atterbeary’s leadership on closing this dangerous loophole. We urge the legislature to send this lifesaving legislation to Governor Hogan’s desk as soon as possible to protect children, women and law enforcement in Maryland.”