The Four-Bill Package Directly Responds To A Biden Administration Push For States To Emulate The White House Office Of Gun Violence Prevention.

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2024 – Today, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed a package of gun violence prevention bills into law. The bills aim to hold the gun industry accountable, reform the victim compensation system, allow for more data transparency for researchers studying gun violence, and establish the state’s own Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention. Brady’s grassroots organizers, Team ENOUGH youth activists, and gun violence prevention champions in the State House and Senate are to thank for these bills successfully making their way to the governor’s desk.

Kris Brown, President of Brady, said:

“Today, Maryland makes tremendous progress in the fight to end gun violence. This uniquely American epidemic is complex and requires a multifaceted approach to make an impact. With these four bills, Maryland will relieve key pressure points that exacerbate this crisis.

“In direct response to the Biden Administration’s request for states to create their own offices of gun violence prevention, today’s signing of SB 475 / HB 583 will establish the State Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention. This is the first state office of its kind and will serve as a crucial first step toward expanding access to funding for the state to address various forms of gun violence, including suicides, and mass shootings. Maryland’s ability to implement comprehensive solutions will be boosted by drawing on expertise from public health experts, community leaders, organizers, and groups most impacted by gun violence. Maryland is leading the way for our nation, and we are so proud to have helped forge this historic path forward.

“For too long, the gun industry has operated in the shadows and circumvented the consequences of perpetuating the Big Lie thanks to the immunities afforded by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Now, Marylanders will finally be able to seek justice and accountability for how the gun industry has harmed their communities. This is especially impactful for communities of color that have been disproportionately burdened by the gun industry’s negligence for far too long. With the possibility of civil liability, we hope the gun industry will reform to behave responsibly just as any industry must do.

“In 2023, over 60% of all Marylanders who were victims of crimes were denied victim compensation. Ending gun violence requires breaking the cycles of victimization that viciously repeat and deprive our communities of the healing we deserve. Upgrading the current victim compensation system to remove discriminatory barriers and ensure equity will secure crucial funding to cover the destabilizing expenses associated with surviving violence. This is an investment in Maryland’s future that will reduce the risk of future victimization and perpetration of harm as well as the long-term costs of violence to the state.

“To end gun violence, we need metrics to understand how well our programs are working. With increased access to data about the efficacy of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), researchers will be unable to effectively evaluate the implementation and equitable enforcement of ERPOs.

“We are so grateful to Brady’s grassroots activists, Team ENOUGH youth organizers, the lawmakers who championed these bills, and to Governor Moore for signing them into law. With each signature, he brings Maryland closer to a future free from gun violence.”

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