Washington, D.C., February 11, 2020 - Today, Brady and Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence congratulated the Maryland General Assembly on the introduction of House Bill 1257 and Senate Bill 816, the Firearms Dealers’ Safety Act. The policies included in these bills are common-sense regulations that will ensure safety and security measures at licensed firearm dealers across the state to reduce firearm theft and trafficking.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“This bill, the Firearms Dealers’ Safety Act, is the kind of common-sense violence prevention bill that all sides can agree on. These are regulatory fixes that can demonstrably reduce firearm thefts, thereby reducing violence in nearby communities. This is the kind of leadership we need to prevent gun violence, instead of simply responding to it.”
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence Legislative Director Karen Herren shared:
“Like much of the country, Maryland is increasingly seeing firearm dealers being targeted by thefts. These guns inherently end up contributing to the everyday gun violence we experience in our state. The Firearms’ Dealers Safety Act is strategically designed to help prevent firearms from being diverted to the criminal market. This is true gun violence prevention.”
The bill includes provisions that will require licensed firearms dealers to keep electronic sales and acquisition records and ensure that dealers update those records consistently. It will also require dealers to properly lock up and maintain their inventory both during and after business hours, and install security measures to monitor inventory and prevent theft. We know that these business practices help prevent diversion of firearms to the criminal market.
Delegate Marc Korman shared:
“The Firearm Dealers Safety Act will put in place common-sense practices to deter firearm theft and loss. If passed, Maryland will join nine other states and the District of Columbia to require that firearm dealers comply with basic security measures that make us all safer.”
Senator Jeff Waldstreicher shared:
"My legislative district experienced a brazen firearm dealer heist. In the terrifying chase that ensued, a heroic Montgomery County police officer was almost killed. The Firearms Dealers Safety Act will help end these dangerous robberies and stem the flow of illicit guns in our communities."
Guns stolen from licensed firearm dealers present a threat to communities across the nation. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicates that approximately 22,000 guns were stolen from retailers between 2012 and 2015. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which has expressed concern about this type of theft, knows that safe business practices by licensed dealers are the first line of defense to prevent stolen guns from entering the criminal market.
These weapons typically remain in the same area from which they were stolen. Research shows that most stolen guns are recovered in connection with crime near the location where the theft took place.
This is an overlooked public safety threat that is imminently solvable. HB 1257 includes many of the solutions that could help to address this problem.
HB1257 was sponsored by Delegates Korman, Acevero, Bartlett, Boyce, Carr, Charkoudian, Forbes, Kelly, Love, Pena-Melnyk, Pendergrass, Rosenberg, Shetty, and Stewart.
Brady thanks the delegates for their strong support of this issue and encourages the Maryland House of Delegates to pass this bill.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.