• Protecting You, Your Family
    And The Next Generation.
  • Changing the norm through
    education and advocacy.
  • Help us make Maryland
    a safer place to live.

STAND WITH US AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

OUR LATEST ALERT: Every candidate for Congress has been asked to sign a resolution that they would cosponsor, if elected, a version of the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act. See the alert and how you can help!

We’re working to…

We’re working to reduce the number of senseless deaths that occur at the hands of guns through education and legislative advocacy. Our efforts are designed to challenge the culture of violence, influence public policy and encourage Marylanders to take action to make their state safer. Our primary focus is on the state of Maryland with an emphasis upon the shooting deaths and injuries that occur in urban Maryland. We are aware that the epidemic of gun violence extends beyond state lines and that many of the struggles Maryland faces is a direct result of neighboring states’ weak laws. We advocate on both the national and local levels for lifesaving gun violence prevention legislation, such as handgun purchaser licensing, to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible and dangerous individuals. We also believe that legislation and education can save individuals at their most vulnerable times by preventing suicides.
Protect Maryland's 2013 Firearms Safety Act

The Act put in place some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation, including fingerprint-based licensing for gun purchases. 

Promote Handgun Purchaser Licensing

Handguns are used in 9 out of every 10 gun deaths. A licensing system helps keep handguns out of the hands of those who should not have them.

Support and Promote Quality Research

We work closely with the best gun violence researchers in the nation to determine what’s working and then spread the word.

Strengthen Gun Violence Prevention Laws

We will work to close loopholes in our current laws and make sure they are enforced.

Expand Our Work Within Communities

Too often, communities at ground zero of this epidemic are left out of the discussion. We aim to fix that.

Educate & Raise Awareness

 We will work to raise awareness throughout Maryland on policies and programs to prevent gun homicide and suicide.

OUR WORK… IN PICTURES!

Resources

The overwhelming majority of gun violence is committed with a handgun, therefore it is essential that public firearm policy address this fact. In Maryland, to qualify for a handgun purchaser license, you must first pass a finger-print based background check through law enforcement and complete a gun safety course. Handgun licensing combined with background checks prevents prohibited people, like felons and domestic abusers, from gaining access to handguns.

 

The web site, A Tale of Two States, details two major studies from the JH Center for Gun Policy and Research that show the impact of handgun licensing on reducing homicides and suicides. Maryland passed a handgun purchaser licensing law in 2013. 

See http://taleoftwostates.com/

 

The online publication, The Trace, delves into the benefits of handgun purchaser licensing (also called ‘permit-to-purchase’) in an article from 2015: https://www.thetrace.org/2015/07/gun-permit-to-purchase-permits-van-hollen-federal/

 

Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act

 

The Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act authorizes a grant program at the Department of Justice to encourage states to establish permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns, including at gun shows and with private sellers.

 

See https://vanhollen.house.gov/fact-sheet-handgun-purchaser-licensing-act-of-2015

Background checks are necessary in preventing a prohibited person from obtaining a firearm. Background checks are also an integral component of any handgun purchaser licensing process. Most people assume the United States has a federal universal background check system, but there are huge loopholes in this law that makes it easy for dangerous people to obtain a firearm. One such loophole is the private sale exception. In many states it is perfectly legal to buy a gun from a ‘private seller’, perhaps someone met online or at a gun show, without a criminal background check making it possible for a prohibited person to circumvent the system.

 

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence details current federal law and its myriad of loopholes and weaknesses: http://smartgunlaws.org/background-check-procedures-policy-summary/

Gun suicides make up two-thirds of all gun deaths, and yet too often they are left out of the conversation of gun violence prevention.  A great myth that gun suicide cannot be prevented is another hindrance in finding sensible solutions that will save lives. We must work to end not only the epidemic of gun suicide, but also the shame associated with it.

 

A clinical psychologist dispels many of the myths associated with gun suicide in an insightful article from the online publication, The Trace: https://www.thetrace.org/2015/11/gun-suicides-mental-illness-statistics/

 

Studies by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research show that background checks combined with licensing reduce gun suicide: http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2015/suicide-by-firearm-rates-shift-in-two-states-after-changes-in-state-gun-laws.html

Domestic gun violence is a public health and safety issue. Families are broken and destroyed. Many times, the violence does not end there. All too often, gun violence spills out to affect the entire community. The majority of mass shootings start with a domestic violence incident. We need to work together to educate everyone on the dangers of domestic violence and how it represents a threat to families and communities.

 

A report by Everytown for Gun Safety details the risks of domestic gun violence and the loopholes that exist in current law: http://everytownresearch.org/reports/guns-and-violence-against-women/

 

Prosecutors Against Gun Violence released a report detailing firearm policies that will reduce gun violence by domestic abusers. The report revealed that removing firearms from abusers can reduce domestic violence homicide by as much as 25%.

To learn more about the laws that exist in Maryland and across the country, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a tremendous resource. The Law Center delves deep into state and national laws, analyzes the Second Amendment, and shares up-to-date research and policy studies.

 

Learn more at http://smartgunlaws.org/the-second-amendment/

In Maryland, we are lucky to have the leading center in gun violence prevention research, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Their scholarly research focuses on the public health perspective of gun violence. The Center’s research focuses on domestic gun violence, youth and guns, and gun trafficking and enforcement.

 

Learn More: http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/index.html

Every victory we’ve had is because of regular people like you giving whatever you can afford! And, 100% of every dollar given stays right here in Maryland. Will you help?

News

Baltimore Sun Letter: Baltimore awash in guns

September 9

I applaud The Baltimore Sun’s editorial, “More gun carnage” (Sept. 7), and Dan Rodricks’ column, “Not even soft breezes stop the gunfire” (Sept. 7). Mr. Rodricks’ words ring all too true. I spent Memorial Day weekend with Cynthia Bruce. Last July, Ms. Bruce’s son Marcus was shot 19 times steps from his grandmother’s Baltimore rowhome. […]

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A back-to-school resolution

September 1

As my family goes through our back-to-school rituals — buying school supplies, packing lunches, taking first-day-of-school pictures — my excitement is tempered with thoughts of the 20 students and six educators killed almost four years ago in Newtown, Conn. My son starts first grade at our local elementary school this year. My son is the […]

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Szeliga sticks to her guns in opposing stricter firearms laws

August 6

(Josh Hicks, Washington Post) Maryland Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga (R) is declining to support stricter firearms laws, despite meeting with gun control activists last week and strong backing for such measures from voters in the state. Szeliga, the state’s House minority whip, didn’t budge from her position on the subject when she met Thursday with […]

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Supreme Court leaves state assault weapons bans in place

June 21

The Supreme Court has rejected challenges to assault weapons bans in Connecticut and New York, in the aftermath of the shooting attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 50 people dead. The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that upheld laws that were passed in response to another […]

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Maryland gun control advocates laud SCOTUS decision

June 21

(WBALTV) BALTIMORE —Gun control advocates in Maryland are cheering a decision Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with assault weapons. The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to Connecticut’s assault weapons ban, again deciding to leave such laws up to individual states. Connecticut’s ban is similar to the law passed in Maryland in […]

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Statement by Jen Pauliukonis, President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, On Maryland Support for Handgun Purchaser Licensing

June 20

Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence is happy to report that all Democratic Maryland candidates for Congress, incumbent and otherwise, have signed our Resolution to cosponsor the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act. MPGV is honored to have the support of Senate candidate Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8) and House of Representative incumbents Rep. John Delaney (D-6), Rep. […]

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The Firearms Safety Act of 2013 puts Maryland on a path to prevent the needless loss of life we see in our state from gunfire. We would not have this lifesaving law without Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, a group of experts and advocates, pushing for it and supporting it every step of the way.

- Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh -

Our Team

Our volunteer-run organization is in good hands with the Jen and Liz -- both former Moms Demand Action leaders -- and Vinny who has been a leader on gun violence prevention for decades.

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