Annapolis, MD – After promising to “take a look” at States for Gun Safety—a bipartisan, multi-state coalition to tackle gun violence—at the National Governors Association’s annual conference this past weekend, Governor Hogan confirmed today in a press conference that he failed to join the initiative. When asked whether he joined, Hogan shrugged “I’m not sure what exactly we’ll do on that.”
While Hogan was throwing parties and breaking bread with Donald Trump, Republican Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Democratic Governors Jay Carney of Delaware joined the coalition to protect their constituents.
Four Eastern region Governors — Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Dan Malloy of Connecticut — created the coalition last week In response to inaction in Congress on gun safety. The coalition will help law enforcement track and intercept illegal guns trafficked across state lines; share information to ensure that individuals prohibited from owning a weapon in their home state cannot purchase one from a neighboring state; and discuss agreements to allow law enforcement to respond to mass shooting events across state lines.
“On the gun safety issue, Larry Hogan is like a deer in the headlights when it comes to protecting Marylanders. He freezes,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. “Instead of throwing parties and breaking bread with Donald Trump last weekend, Governor Hogan should have been meeting with his fellow governors about how to save lives in Maryland, like he promised to do. As Democratic Legislators in our state work hard this week on bills to close loopholes to reduce gun violence, it is pathetic that Governor Hogan has failed to join this coalition to share intelligence and resources with our neighbors to keep dangerous weapons out of our communities.”
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. In 2016, he opposed legislation to ban guns on college campuses.
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.