Protecting The Common Good
State Leaders Prep To Curb, Head Off Gun Violence
By Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
To prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats all across the state, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he signed Executive Order 01.01.2018.08 directing all state agencies to develop, review, and update internal plans, policies, and procedures related to active assailant events, and to participate in a coordinated active assailant initiative that includes collaboration with public and non-governmental partners.
Below is the governor’s rationale, in his words, for stepping up safety efforts:
There is no more important job than keeping our citizens safe – especially our children. In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, citizens here in our state and all across America want to know what government at all levels is doing to keep our children safe, and what we are collectively doing to stop gun violence and violent crime,” said Governor Hogan. “Classrooms should never be a place of fear for our children. No mom or dad should ever have to worry when they send their kids off to school whether their son or daughter is going to come home safely.
Great work is already being done to ensure the safety of Maryland’s students and its schools,” said the governor, referencing recent successful law enforcement interventions in Frederick, St. Mary’s, and Montgomery Counties. “Incidents like this here in Maryland and all across the country make it very clear that we absolutely must remain vigilant when it comes to protecting our kids, and we absolutely must do more.
To take immediate action to further restrict access to guns for individuals with mental illnesses or a violent criminal background, the governor announced support for several targeted initiatives, including:
- Support for “red flag” legislation, which allows family members or law enforcement to petition the court for an order that would prohibit an individual from possessing firearms or ammunition if they were deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others.
- Federal action to institute a universal background check system, which the governor has supported since his campaign.
- Support for legislation to strengthen and clarify current law to prohibit an individual convicted of domestic violence from possessing firearms, which was a factor in the recent murder of Prince George’s County Police Corporal Mujahid Ramzziddin.
- Support for legislation banning “bump stocks.”
Finally, the governor highlighted his proposed legislation to toughen penalties for individuals committing violent crimes with guns, who are predominantly responsible for the nearly 350 murders in Baltimore City last year.