The Problem

The easier it is for a criminal to obtain a gun, the easier it will be to commit a crime with it.  That’s why Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence supports common sense measures to reduce gun violence.

There are always a number of contributing factors to why crime happens, but the lack of licensing, safety training, and fingerprinting of gun purchases is something we can address right away to reduce gun violence in Maryland.

While violent crime in Maryland has been driven down in recent years, Maryland’s murder rate is 44% higher than the national average and Maryland has the second highest handgun murder rate in the nation.  A majority of the guns used to commit crime in Maryland originated within the state, indicating that something about our current gun policies is making it easy for criminals to obtain guns. The easier it is for a criminal to obtain a handgun, the easier it will be to commit a crime with it. States like New York and New Jersey that have fingerprint licensing of handgun purchasers have significantly lower handgun death rates than states like Maryland that do not.

We also must do all we can to prevent the tragedies that struck Aurora, Oak Creek, and Newtown from happening here in Maryland. Between 1994 and 2004 when the assault weapons ban was in effect, assault weapons traced to gun crimes dropped 45% nationally. In Maryland, it led to a 55% drop in assault pistols recovered by the Baltimore Police Department. While banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines may not significantly reduce crime overall, a ban does make it harder for a person to obtain a weapon that can cause maximum damage in minimum time.