Marylander Voters Overwhelmingly Support Licensing the Purchase of Handguns

Annapolis, MD (February 20, 2013) – Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence (MPGV) released new polling data today showing that an overwhelming majority of Maryland registered voters support licensing handgun purchasers.  According to the new poll conducted by Opinion Works, 81% of Maryland voters statewide, including 89% of Democrats, 78% of Independents, and 64% of Republicans, said yes to the following question, “Would you support requiring a license to purchase a handgun in Maryland that would require a fingerprint, criminal background check, and safety training.” (See Memo from Opinion Works pollster Steve Raabe.)

“This is a profound level of support for a major public policy proposal, and as close as you can find to consensus today.” said Opinion Works Pollster Steve Raabe. “Across party lines, Maryland’s voters view this as an important, common sense measure.”

The new polling data was released on the same day that Sarah Brady, a national leader for effective gun violence prevention laws, will be in Annapolis to meet with key lawmakers on the governor’s Firearms Safety Act.  Sarah Brady will meet with Governor Martin O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch.  She’ll also meet with the Chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Senator Brian Frosh.

“Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence is honored to have Sarah Brady in Annapolis today to meet with key lawmakers about responsible measures to prevent gun violence,” said Vincent DeMarco, MPGV Board President.  “The people of Maryland know that licensing handgun purchasers saves lives and its time for the Maryland General Assembly to enact common sense legislation to reduce straw purchases and save lives.”

Since 1981, when her husband Jim Brady was shot during the assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan, Sarah Brady and her husband have been tireless champions of sensible gun laws, helping to the secure the passage of the “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” signed into law in 1993.  Since that time 1.7 million prohibited purchasers have been stopped from buying guns.