Maryland Governor Wes Moore has enacted significant legislation aimed at curbing gun violence, marking a proactive response to the White House’s call for states to intensify their efforts in this area. On Thursday, Governor Moore signed a bill establishing a new statewide center dedicated to gun violence prevention—the first of its kind in the nation, aligning closely with federal initiatives.

Governor Moore’s legislative action also included the signing of a groundbreaking bill that allows state and local authorities to hold firearm industry members civilly accountable if they fail to adhere to safety standards. This legislation aims to tighten the reins on the firearm industry, promoting a safer environment in Maryland.

In addition, the governor addressed the issue of gun modifications that increase firing speed by expanding the definition of “rapid fire trigger activator” to encompass auto sears, commonly known as Glock switches. This measure effectively bans such devices in the state, targeting modifications that can make firearms more lethal.

These legislative measures follow President Joe Biden’s establishment of the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention last year, led by Vice President Kamala Harris. This office encourages states to develop localized strategies to utilize federal grants more effectively in reducing violence.

“Maryland became the first state in the nation to officially answer President Biden’s call,” stated Governor Moore during a news conference, underscoring Maryland’s leadership in addressing gun violence through a public health lens. The newly formed Center for Firearm Violence Prevention will operate under the state health department, collaborating with both federal and local agencies to devise comprehensive strategies against gun violence.

The legislative package signed by Governor Moore also includes reforms honoring Baltimore tech CEO Pava Marie LaPere, who was tragically killed last year. One law will prevent early release credits for good behavior for individuals imprisoned for first-degree rape, a response to the circumstances surrounding LaPere’s death. Additionally, the Pava LaPere Innovation Acceleration Grant Program has been created to support technology-based startups led by students, celebrating LaPere’s legacy and contributions to the tech community.

Governor Moore further signed a series of juvenile justice reforms aimed at enhancing accountability and rehabilitation amid rising concerns over youth-involved crimes. These reforms are part of a broader public safety initiative that includes increasing apprenticeships in public safety sectors and improving support for crime victims.

The comprehensive approach extends to mental health, with the signing of a bill to establish a permanent funding source for the state’s 988 mental health crisis helpline, further demonstrating Maryland’s commitment to addressing public safety comprehensively and innovatively.



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