I strongly support common sense measures to address the epidemic of gun violence affecting our nation. Rarely has a month gone by without a mass shooting. Maryland has witnessed its own horrors firsthand with the shootings at the Capital Gazette office in Annapolis and Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County. But we must remember that many communities are ravaged daily by gun violence that does not make the news headlines. We can and we must protect innocent Americans from senseless gun violence at the same time as we protect the Constitutional rights of responsible gun owners.
While Maryland has taken strong steps to reduce gun violence, I believe that changes to how we regulate firearms are appropriate and necessary on a national level, given that many violent crimes in Maryland are committed with guns obtained outside the state. I have long supported common sense measures to that end including proposed legislation to: institute universal background checks that must be completed before a gun sale, prohibit those convicted of hate crimes and domestic violence violations from owning guns, support “red flag” laws to allow law enforcement to intervene when there is an imminent threat of violence, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips, increase mental health resources and public health research into gun violence prevention, and enhance the resources and authorities of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), making it easier to hold distributors and manufacturers more accountable for misconduct.
No one policy can fix the current epidemic of gun violence in this country. I am committed to supporting as many solutions as possible to address this deadly problem and to protect innocent lives.