Frederick women join rally for gun control measures in Annapolis

Supporters of two gun control bills in Annapolis gather Tuesday on Lawyers Mall in front of the Maryland State House. Terri Mawdsley, of Frederick County, holds a sign that reads “Fred Co Supports Background Checks for Long Guns.”

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers will push for gun control bills that aim to ensure background checks for private long gun sales and strengthen the process through which convicted domestic abusers surrender firearms.

The pair of soon-to-be-introduced bills will join more than a dozen gun-related bills already filed in Annapolis this year.

Last year, lawmakers considered about 80 gun bills during the 90-day legislative session, including measures similar to those bills touted on Tuesday.

One Frederick County resident who attended rallies both last year and this year said support is growing for changes to Maryland’s gun control laws and she thinks the measures will garner more support this year.

“I think we have a greater chance. More people are engaged,” said Terri Mawdsley, leader of the Frederick County chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

She came to Tuesday’s rally with seven others from Frederick County and said the gathering — of more than 100 supporters — was much larger than last year’s.

The two bills are supported by Moms Demand Action and its parent organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.

Sen. William C. Smith Jr., D-Montgomery, will sponsor both bills in the Senate.

The so-called “Long Gun Loophole Bill” would apply the same standards for background checks to rifles and shotguns that apply to handguns. For years, Maryland has required criminal background checks for all sales and transfers of handguns, but individuals can buy rifles and shotguns from unlicensed sellers. The bill is cosponsored by Delegate Dereck E. Davis, D-Prince George’s, in the House.

The second proposed bill would put in place a process to ensure that convicted abusers turn in their guns.

Maryland and federal law have prohibited firearm possession by criminals convicted of certain domestic violent crimes and abusers who have final protective orders against them, but a gap in enforcing the prohibition remains without a legally defined process in place, advocates said. Currently, people who were just convicted in a Maryland court could leave a courthouse, retrieve guns they already own, and use them to do harm, the advocates said.

The bill will be introduced in the house by Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, D-Howard.

Robin Becker-Cornblatt, of Frederick, attended Tuesday’s rally to support the measures.

“All guns should be regulated — for safety of the community of our children,” Becker-Cornblatt said. “As a mom, I want to make sure our voices are heard. The voices of the gun lobby are always heard, and I want to make sure that ... we are able to mobilize and make sure we have gun control laws.”

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

(6) comments

farmrdave

It is vary good that so many persons feel strongly about a matter can gather and protest it in the streets. However the two groups, "Moms Demand Action" and "Everytown for Gun Safety", publish false information. They lie. They create false facts about the use and ownership of guns. As for local legislators pushing for unconstitutional regulations intended to disarm legal US citizens they should be fired or voted out of office. Stated quite clearly in our constitution in part, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". Is a law that supersedes any other law about guns in our Constitutional Republic. Lets see some statistics about how many crimes are stopped because the victim may be armed? How many times is a gun used to prevent a crime each day? 10 times? That would be 3,650 times per year. 100 times? That would be 36,500 times per year. 1000 times? With a population of 319 million people even the 1000 times per day is not unreasonable to expect. Without knowing that how can anyone support laws that make it more difficult for honest taxpaying legal citizens to own, use, or carry a gun?

ChrisTaylor

The sign says "Frederick County supports background checks on long guns" - yes, and so does the law. Please try to buy a long gun in Frederick County without a background check and let me know how that works for you. As the other comment states, you're speaking of private sales. I'm also ok with a process that makes private sales go through an FFL dealer, but you're sign is misleading and incorrect. This is the frustrating thing about protests, most of you are very unclear on the matter at hand.

jgrose79

Also, the gun lobby was helping push for confiscations of firearms from convicted domestic violence offenders last year as well. We actually told Mom's Demand Action that we support that bill. The problem is when democrats try to push all the ignorant bills through as one lump sum bill. When it failed there was no call to action against democrats who messed up a bill that had support from both sides. When will democrats hold their own accountable for being unrealistic?

public-redux

Gun grabbers!

jgrose79

Would someone please explain how a background check on a private sale will actually be enforced? If these guns are not registered, which they aren't, there is no way to trace the gun back to the original owner or time it was sold. That's why it has never been done, it's impossible to enforce. Perhaps if these Mom's would talk with us with an open mind they would understand what us so called "gun nuts"are talking about. Nah, they'll just push for anything they can in order to remain in the spotlight. How many crimes are committed with long guns in MD? These folks are not rational.

edleary

One sided story ... Watch the video of the counter protest
https://youtu.be/_4TcLWfVo4A

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