With Political Winds Shifting, Hogan Changes Tune on Democrats’ Gun Safety Bill

Feb 23, 2018

Annapolis, MD – One day after hundreds of Maryland students staged a protest demanding action to prevent gun violence, Larry Hogan is now trying to shift his position on guns. Hogan yesterday expressed support of a commonsense measure proposed by Democrats to ban the sale of bump stocks in Maryland after receiving permission from Donald Trump.  Earlier this month, Hogan dismissed the proposal, saying, “I don’t think anyone in the history of our state has ever been killed with a bump stock.”  Hogan also refused to support the proposal in November of last year.  The announcement came hours after the White House announced his support of a ban of bump stocks to give Hogan and other Republicans “political cover.”

“Governor Hogan knows his real record on guns puts him at odds with the people of Maryland,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. “This is typical Hogan, who time after time lacks the political courage to lead, choosing instead to go wherever the political winds take him. I am renewing my call for Hogan to support Democrats’ legislation to get guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers and join States for Guns Safety to keep our communities safe.”  

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 failing to work with Democrats to keep dangerous weapons off our streets.  Yesterday, Hogan was noticeably absent from a newly-formed coalition of mid-Atlantic states to tackle gun violence.  In 2016, he opposed legislation to ban guns on college campuses.  So far this 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 and prohibit convicted domestic abusers from owning weapons.

During the 2014 campaign, Hogan refused to release his answers to an NRA questionnaire, which earned him his A-minus rating and was caught making secret promises to gun activists behind closed doors.

In response to inaction from Hogan and his Republican allies, yesterday, 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.”

A potentially-catastrophic mass school shooting was averted in Maryland last week 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.