Annapolis, MD – Ahead of today’s hearing on Senate Bill 1046, legislation introduced by Senator Will Smith (D-20) to prevent convicted domestic abusers from possessing a firearm, the Maryland Democratic Party is once again calling on Governor Larry Hogan to get off the sidelines and support the legislation. The House version of the bill will be heard next Tuesday, March 6 at 1pm.
“We know that guns and domestic abusers are a lethal cocktail”, said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. “Just last week, a brave Prince George’s County police officer, Cpl. Mujahid Ramzziddin, was killed while helping his neighbor leave her home and an abusive relationship. His killer had a history of domestic violence and never should have been allowed to own a firearm.”
Hogan, who has an A-minus rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and accepted thousands in campaign funding from the group, has a history of obstructing Democrats’ efforts to keep guns out of Maryland communities. This year, he refused to join States for Gun Safety, a bipartisan, multi-state coalition to combat gun violence created in the wake of the Parkland shooting, and in 2016, he opposed legislation to ban guns on college campuses.
In this 2018 legislative session, Hogan has refused to endorse several gun violence prevention bills introduced by Democrats, including legislation to keep guns out of the hands of individuals denied a permit by the State Police.
Matthews continued: “Larry Hogan should be focused on keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers and working with Democrats on closing this loophole in Maryland’s gun safety law, instead of being afraid of losing his precious A-minus NRA rating. The Governor needs to stop standing with the NRA and his Republican allies and support this life-saving bill to keep Marylanders and our communities safer.”
In response to inaction from Hogan and his Republican allies, last week, hundreds of students from Montgomery County staged a walk out and marched to the U.S. Capitol to demand action on gun violence. Semret Haile, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School issued a warning to Hogan and all Republicans refusing to act to prevent gun violence: “If they don’t want to listen to us right now, that’s okay, because we’re going to vote them out in 2018 and 2020.”
In Maryland, a potentially-catastrophic mass school shooting was recently averted when a Montgomery County police officer arrested a high school student who was in possession of a loaded gun on campus—less than 24 hours after the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. According to reports, police found an assault rifle, grenades and other explosives, and a bulletproof vest at the student’s home.