I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to our dedicated legislators in Annapolis who voted today to pass Senate Bill 387, which closes a dangerous loophole that makes it difficult for law enforcement to protect the public and addresses the epidemic of gun violence by banning ghost guns statewide.
Tackling the proliferation of these untraceable firearms requires immediate attention and committed partnership at every level of government. We know that these weapons are more accessible than ever, and Montgomery County is not immune to this epidemic.
Montgomery County’s State’s Attorney John McCarthy reported that the number of ghost guns seized in Montgomery County alone increased nearly fivefold in a two-year period, from 16 ghost guns in 2019 to 70 ghost guns confiscated in 2021.
We have taken steps at the County-level to protect our communities from these dangerous and untraceable firearms, including the passage of Bill 4-21, Weapons – Protection of Minors and Public Places - Restrictions Against Ghost Guns and Undetectable Guns, otherwise known as the Ghost Guns Bill. I was proud to spearhead this pivotal legislation, which prohibits access to ghost guns by minors younger than 18 years of age within 100 yards of a place of public assembly. This law was the first of its kind for a local jurisdiction in Maryland.
I’m thrilled that our state partners have taken further action to safeguard our residents by banning access to ghost guns statewide. It is our responsibility as lawmakers to implement legislation that protects the communities we serve from immediate harm.
I would like to thank Attorney General Brian Frosh, State Senator Susan Lee, Delegate Lesley Lopez and Committee Chairs Will Smith and Luke Clippinger for their leadership on this critical issue, and the entire Montgomery County Delegation for supporting this measure and moving it forward. I am grateful for their leadership, partnership and lifesaving work that will make our communities safer.
I am equally thankful to our community advocates and gun violence prevention organizations who, for years, have worked tirelessly to fight for these changes at the local, state and federal level.