Maryland Moms Demand Action; Rally Calls for "Ghost-Gun" Ban
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Around 125 gun-law reform advocates and gun-violence survivors rallied in Annapolis Tuesday, less than a week after gun deaths across Baltimore and a school shooting in Montgomery County.
The groups that gathered at the State Capitol want legislative leaders to pass gun-safety bills they say would save lives, such as banning "ghost guns" made from at-home kits that can be purchased online without a background check. A ghost gun was used in a Magruder High School shooting in Rockville on Friday, leaving one student wounded.
Melissa Ladd, chapter leader of Maryland Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said the Magruder shooting took place in her neighborhood - and was the first school shooting in Montgomery County.
"We know that ghost guns are a problem because people who can't normally purchase firearms are able to get ahold of them, no questions, asked over the internet," she said. "So, I think it, unfortunately, is a really tragic way of highlighting this problem and hopefully, really giving us a sense of urgency and finally pass this bill."
On Monday, state Sen. Susan Lee, D-Montgomery County, introduced SB 387, which would regulate ghost guns in the state.
Tuesday's rally was hosted in conjunction with Students Demand Action, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, Brady United and the Giffords Law Center. The rally was part of Moms Demand Action's annual Advocacy Days, at the beginning of the legislative session.
Ladd said the group will meet virtually with 144 lawmakers today to discuss other policy priorities they'd like to see addressed.
"We believe that we can tighten up some of the police reform work that was done last year," she said. "One part that got carved out, unfortunately, was a qualified-immunity bill, and that is a bill that would allow a police officer to be held liable if they were to shoot someone without reason."
Last Wednesday, multiple shootings in Baltimore took three lives and injured four people. In an average year, 743 Marylanders die in gun-related incidents, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
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