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


We’re working to…

We’re working to reduce gun violence in Maryland through evidence-based solutions.


Our Mission

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.



Handgun Permit Review Board – Veto Override

In 2019, after several years educating lawmakers about how the Handgun Permit Review Board was undermining Maryland’s conceal carry law, MPGV led the successful effort to pass legislation abolishing the Board. Now, in 2020, MPGV is back to fight for an override of Governor’s Hogan’s veto of the 2019 bill.

If the veto override is successful, and the 2019 legislation goes into effect, it will remove the Handgun Permit Review Board (HPRB) and replace it with a neutral administrative judicial review process. The HPRB is a five-person panel of citizens appointed by the governor to rule on appeals of Wear and Carry permits after an individual is denied a permit by the Maryland State Police. It is the only situation where a citizen body has the authority to overrule a departmental Secretary and has proven to be a way to circumvent Maryland’s important firearms safety laws.

Child Access Prevention and Safe Storage (SB 441 & HB 468)

This bill sponsored by State Senator Will Smith and Delegate Dana Stein will strengthen safe storage requirements for gun owners for the purpose of reducing child access to firearms. Unsecured firearms increase the risk of unintentional shootings, homicide, and suicide. In addition to requiring that guns are securely stored and unloaded if a minor could gain access, the bill changes the definition of a minor from under 16 to under 18 years of age. It also provides for a graduated system of penalties commensurate with the harm caused by a failure to securely store a weapon. In short, this bill will strengthen gun owners’ accountability and responsibility for the safe storage of firearms.

Strengthening Maryland’s Assault Weapons Ban

While Maryland is one of a few states to have an assault weapons ban, the legislation passed in 2013, the Maryland Firearm Safety Act is not as stringent as other states and has a number of dangerous loopholes. One such loophole was highlighted after the August 4, 2019 shooting in Dayton Ohio where a shooter killed nine people and injured over two dozen with an Anderson Manufacturing .223-caliber AM-15 gun. This gun, described by many as an AR-15 style pistol is legal to own and purchase in Maryland. MPGV will advocate for a stronger assault weapons ban during the 2020 session including working to ban dangerous assault pistols.

Firearm Dealer Best Practices

This bill introduced by State Senator Jeff Waldstreicher and Delegate Marc Korman will establish best practices for gun dealers to ensure all dealers are properly securing their inventory and maintaining sales records. This bill will codify life-saving measures that gun dealers and distributors in Maryland must follow and holds business owners responsible should they violate these standards. It will require gun dealers to:

– Lock up all inventory, including using trigger locks on display items;
– Maintain and back up electronic records to track purchases and inventory;
– Install surveillance and alarm systems to prevent theft;
– Conduct background checks on all employees; and
– Obtain business and liability insurance coverage.

Data Aggregation and Collection

Over the last seven years, MPGV has advocated for data collection that can help us better understand gun violence in the state of Maryland including data related to firearm crimes such as illegal firearms, crime guns, and gun trafficking; as well as data reporting related to the public health aspects of gun violence. Through this work, MPGV was able to discover that the Maryland Department of Health stopped reporting data on injuries and fatalities in 2016, and this report is for 2013 data. MPGV will work with the legislative and executive branch to restore this data reporting and will advocate for more granular level data to be reported in future years. These statistics are essential tools for developing a better understanding of gun violence in Maryland and will allow researchers, policy makers, and health care providers to advance more informed policies and recommendations on how to prevent firearm injuries and deaths.

Education Policies

MPGV recognizes the important role that education policies, our schools, and educators play in both preventing gun violence and responding to gun violence. MPGV will advocate for education policies that seek to address equity, education funding, school construction funding, school security, and improved education and economic opportunities for students, particularly those who live in communities disproportionately affected by daily gun violence.

HB1/SB1 The Build to Learn Act will implement the recommendations of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (the Kirwan Commission) and will overhaul the state education system to make significant investments in education funding and major changes to education policy in Maryland to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and are college or career ready upon graduation. Reducing violence in Baltimore is a complex issue requiring a multi-faceted approach. While we must address the number of accessible weapons, and violence within Baltimore, we must simultaneously provide ways of lifting affected communities to provide them with the tools they need to thrive. One of the most critical tools is access to quality education. Improving economic opportunities for young people and providing them with career training and college preparation is a long term investment in gun violence prevention.

Delegate Wilkins and Senator Washington are sponsoring a bill to implement guidelines for school to provide trauma informed care to students so that schools, administrators, and educators know how to recognize and appropriately respond to trauma. This legislation is both important for responding to gun violence and helping end the cycle of violence.

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?

Statement on Investment Alternatives to Policing to Save Lives from Violence

June 12

The Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition stands with those protesting across the country against the long-standing history of black lives being disproportionately impacted by police violence and community violence in America. The Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition is composed of more than 50 community members including activists, social service providers, healthcare practitioners, survivors of gun violence, policy […]

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Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence Responds to Governor Hogan’s Veto of Senate Bill 708

May 7

Baltimore, MD  (May 7, 2020) – The Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition is deeply disappointed by Governor Hogan’s decision to veto Senate Bill 708, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill modestly funds community-based violence reduction strategies like Baltimore’s Safe Streets program, ROCA and Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs). These are essential programs during ordinary times, […]

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Re: Violence Intervention and Prevention Programs (VIPP) Funding

May 5

Download PDF here. May 5, 2020 The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan Governor State of Maryland State House Annapolis, MD 21401 Re: Violence Intervention and Prevention Programs (VIPP) Funding Governor Hogan, Thank you for your strong leadership in response to the COVID-19 crisis in our state. We appreciate your actions to prevent the spread of the […]

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COVID-19 is not an equalizer.

May 1

Elizabeth Banach: COVID-19 in the suburbs As a white woman, I have always been acutely aware that I live a privileged life. Perhaps that privilege is most clear in the fact that I have never feared for my children’s lives. I never worried about sending my children out to play in our neighborhood or to […]

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Violence Interruption Funding Helps Stop the Spread of Street Violence and COVID-19

April 21

Download PDF here. April 17, 2020 The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan Governor State of Maryland State House Annapolis, MD 21401 Re: Violence Interruption Funding Helps Stop the Spread of Street Violence and COVID-19 Dear Governor Hogan, We, the undersigned, applaud you for your foresight and swift handling of the COVID-19 response in Maryland. We understand […]

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Top 3 Reasons Why Safe Gun Storage is More Important Than Ever During the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 16

By Linda McKibben MD DrPH FAAP FACPM Date: April 2, 2020 I’ve spent my life as a community pediatrician and preventive medicine physician. I know that attitudes and behaviors are very difficult to change. That is exactly why Maryland’s Governor acted to close schools and businesses by executive order, with the force of law, rather [...]

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Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence is doing critical work to bring the voices of those most directly affected by gun violence into the national dialogue.

- U.S. Senator Chris Murphy -

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