Maryland Governor Approves Statewide Gun Center Bill

( – On May 16, Democratic Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed a bill creating what the governor called a first-of-its-kind statewide center that aims to help prevent gun violence.

Operating within the Maryland Department of Health, the bill creates the Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention, which aims to prevent gun violence by consolidating and coordinating the state’s “public health approach.” The center will work alongside “local governments, advocates, and medical professionals.” building upon Maryland’s “critical gun violence intervention programs.”

According to Moore, Maryland is the first state to establish a program since President Joe Biden, who, in September 2023, established the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, called for states to form their own centers. Moore noted that Maryland is the first state to “officially answer” the president’s call to action.

On May 16, Moore also signed two other gun bills into law. One bill bans “rapid fire trigger activator” in the state, expanding the definition to include auto sears, sometimes called Glock switches. The second bill allows companies within the firearm industry, if they fail to meet minimum standards to prevent harm, to be held accountable in civil court by state and local officials.

He also signed a variety of public safety bills into law, including two that aim to help police departments and two that honor tech CEO Pava Marie LaPere, who was found dead on the roof of her apartment building in 2023.

The Public Safety Workforce (GAPS) Act will help police departments with funding. The Growing Apprenticeships bill aims to make “apprenticeships a more viable pathway to law enforcement” and help with staff shortages at departments across the state.

The second bill provides technology-based startup companies founded by students with grants by establishing the Pava LaPere Innovation Acceleration Grant Program.

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