The Maryland chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to Governor Larry Hogan’s announcement that he will allow SB 387 to become law, without his signature, despite bipartisan support for the bill. The bill will prohibit the sale or possession of ghost guns — do-it-yourself, untraceable firearms made from easy-to-get building blocks that can be purchased with no background check. Maryland will join nine other states and the District of Columbia who have laws on the books addressing ghost guns.
“Maryland’s new law to prohibit ghost guns is bad news for criminals, extremists, and the makers of these untraceable weapons, and good news for everyone else,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud the bipartisan group of state leaders who made this law happen, and look forward to working with them to make sure Maryland remains a leader on gun safety.”
“After calls for action from advocates of gun safety and our allies, Maryland lawmakers have passed a transformative bill, ” said Melissa Ladd, a volunteer leader with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This law is critical to keeping the growing threat of ghost guns out of our communities, our schools, and — most importantly — away from our kids. We are grateful to the gun sense champions in the legislature and the Attorney General for their efforts to get this bipartisan legislation across the finish line, and we look forward to putting this law to use and saving lives.”
This session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters sent hundreds of emails and made hundreds of phone calls in support of the bill. Just last week, bill sponsors Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Lesley Lopez, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott – a co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns – and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison joined Everytown and Moms Demand Action volunteers on a virtual press call to advocate for the legislation to become law.
In January, a ghost gun was used in a shooting at Magruder High School, which left one student critically injured. This incident stands as part of a larger trend in Maryland and across the country of gun violence involving ghost guns. This month, the Biden-Harris Administration is expected to finalize their proposed ghost gun rule to gut markets for ghost guns and their component parts.
In an average year in Maryland, 743 people die by guns and 1,747 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Maryland $5.7 billion each year, of which $375.8 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Maryland is available here.