• 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

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.

Our Programs

Resources

VETO OVERRIDE
Violence Intervention and Prevention (SB 708/ HB 822) – Veto Override
Prior to the abrupt shut down of the 2020 Maryland General Assembly (MGA) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to pass the Violence Intervention and Prevention Bill (VIPP). This bill, sponsored by Senator Jill Carter and Delegate Brooke Lierman, will require the Governor to provide funding to VIPP programs previously authorized by the legislature. In 2018, Delegate Lierman and Senator Joan Carter-Conway passed legislation that designated funding to counties and municipalities such as Baltimore City, for evidence-based programs to reduce interpersonal gun homicide. This included funding for Ceasefire and Cure Violence models involving group violence intervention, violence interrupters, and hospital-based intervention programs. Effective violence prevention requires a sustained approach over time but unfortunately, these programs have not been provided with the legislature’s intended funding since the authority to provide that funding lies with the Governor. These programs aim to go beyond traditional law enforcement practices and prevent violence before it happens. This new bill would ensure that funding is properly allocated to VIPP programs. Members of the MGA will not only reaffirm their commitment to violence prevention and intervention, but will also ensure that critical efforts across the state receive much needed state-level support by overriding the Governor’s veto. Communities across Maryland continue to suffer from underinvestment in strategies that are proven to be effective at reducing violence and promoting healing. This legislation is a critical step in moving Maryland forward and legislators must vote to override the veto. Update: As of this publication, the Senate has acted swiftly and passed the override vote. A House vote is anticipated within the next few weeks.

MPGV’s PRIORITY BILLS
Jaelynn’s Law/ Child Access Prevention and Safe Storage (HB 200):
This bill, sponsored by State Senator Will Smith and Delegates Dana Stein and Sandy Bartlett, 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 increases the age of unsupervised firearm possession to 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.

Ghost Guns
This bill, sponsored by State Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Lesley Lopez, addresses the growing problem of unserialized kit guns thwarting Maryland’s strong gun laws. Unserialized kit guns are a version of ghost guns and it has become evident in recent years that they are allowing prohibited purchasers to circumvent Maryland’s background check requirements. This legislation would require that a purchaser of the key portion of a firearm kit, the unfinished receiver, be subject to the same standards as that of a firearm purchaser, to wit, they must possess a valid handgun qualification license. Thus, a person who is otherwise prohibited from purchasing a firearm would not be allowed to circumvent Maryland’s gun laws by making the firearm themself. In addition, the legislation would improve the ability to trace kit guns used in crimes by establishing a procedure and requirement for the serialization of the unfinished receiver.

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. One of our core programs at MPGV is the Liberty Elementary Grief Support Program. This community lead approach pairs children who have Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with individuals from their communities trained in grief support. The children attend weekly “lunch bunch” groups with these adults and are generally supported throughout the year as need arises. 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. This Session, we are working with Delegate Pam Queen on legislation to establish a screening process so that all children entering Maryland public schools would be assessed for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Early identification of children with high ACE scores helps secure them with the support and resources they need. Children with high ACE scores who do not receive therapeutic intervention are much likelier to become victims of or engage in violence and die at significantly younger ages than their peers.

Police Accountability
MPGV believes that unjustified use of force of any form is unacceptable. Law Enforcement Officers play an important role in ensuring the safety of our communities. MPGV is proud to work alongside members of The Maryland State Police, Baltimore Police Department and county police departments to protect and ensure the safety of all. We also believe in the importance of speaking out when anyone, law enforcement or the general public, acts in a way that threatens a community’s safety. We stand with advocates who call upon all of us to fight for ways to ensure that no one is shot without justification by a law enforcement official. This protects not only community members but also the law enforcement officials who work in earnest to protect us all.

Local Youth Violence Review (HB93/SB406)
This legislation would allow counties to establish local youth violence review committees to prevent violence and homicides involving youth assailants and youth victims by promoting cooperation among agencies, providing youth services, determining the causes of youth violence, and recommending changes. In addition to the potential to address individual cases in the best way possible, such committees can help to inform and instruct efforts at violence prevention from a community and resources standpoint. At MPGV we seek to always allow our work to be informed by the best information available and this kind of information gathering and dissemination is critical.

OPPOSE
Attempts to Repeal the Firearm Safety Act of 2013
A number of bills have been proposed that would repeal key provisions of the landmark Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (FSA). Maryland was one of the few states that was able to pass substantive legislation after the Sandy Hook School shooting. Every year, bills are introduced to eliminate training certification requirements, legalize assault weapons, and generally weaken Maryland’s existing law. MPGV is dedicated to protecting the strong standards set forth by the 2013 legislation and opposes any bills that undermine current law.

Concealed Carry Expansion/Shall Carry (HB 538, SB27, SB221)
Each year, legislation is introduced in Maryland to make it a “shall carry” state and remove concealed carry permit requirements such as the “good and substantial reason” standard. Other bills aim to remove requirements for training, create exemptions to the permitting requirements, establish concealed carry reciprocity, or allow for expedited permits under certain circumstances. MPGV opposes all legislation that seeks to weaken Maryland’s current concealed carry
standards.

Guns in Schools
MPGV opposes all legislation authorizing funding for arming school personnel, or granting permission to county school boards to authorize school personnel to carry a firearm on school property under any circumstances.

Guns and Cannabis (SB190/HB415)
Under federal law cannabis is designated as a controlled substance and a user is prohibited from owning a firearm. In addition, the data seems to indicate that marijuana use, even medical varieties may cause impairment to the user. This is an area that likely deserves significant scientific research, but MPGV feels strongly that the default should not be to allow cannabis users to possess dangerous weapons. We will oppose this legislation.

Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health developed a map to help community members seeking local options for temporary, voluntary firearm storage. Out-of-home gun storage can be especially helpful to persons in crisis at risk for suicide. As of the spring of 2020, the businesses and law enforcement agencies listed on this map are willing to consider requests for temporary, voluntary gun storage.

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?

Legislative Priorities 2021

January 23

2021 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Priorities Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence (MPGV) continues its commitment to advancing evidence-based policies to reduce gun violence in Maryland by strengthening Maryland’s background check and licensing system, and defending the integrity of Maryland’s firearm laws. During the 2021 session, MPGV will introduce and support bills that address loopholes in […]

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Statement on reaching 300 homicides in Baltimore

November 23

This morning Baltimore City reached a tragic milestone for the 6th year in a row: 300 homicides. The vast majority of those murders, 270 of them, were committed with guns. Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence remains committed to creating a more just and equitable society where reaching the 300th murder each year becomes the exception […]

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Pediatric Child Access Prevention

October 13

Nationwide, firearms are the #1 leading cause of death in Black children and youth. Firearms are the #2 leading cause of death in ALL children and youth. Safe storage of firearms and stronger laws reduce deaths from homicides, suicides and unintentional injuries. Pediatric Child Access Prevention Project Team Linda McKibben MD MPH DrPH FAAP FACPM, […]

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Make a Plan to Vote

September 3

What is the most important thing you can do in the next 60 days? Vote! It has never been more critical that we embrace our civic responsibility to vote by taking the steps necessary to make that a possibility. From the local level to the federal, vote for candidates who support gun violence prevention efforts. […]

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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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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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