During Governor Hogan’s two terms, the rate of homicides and nonfatal shootings in Maryland has soared. Despite having some of the strongest gun laws in the country, gun violence rates in Maryland have increased by 36% — over twice the national average. This increase includes a 53% increase in gun homicides. This violence disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. Black Marylanders are seventeen times more likely to be victims of gun violence than white Marylanders. Firearms are used in more than half of all intimate partner homicides in the United States — women are shot to death in an intimate partner homicide once every 14 hours.
Once safe communities now struggle for economic advancement; social progress, and individual growth are stymied in the face of increased violence. Improving state and local coordination to identify and address the root causes of crime in our state will be a top priority of my office. In addition, I will support local prosecutors and officials in developing equitable, constitutional, and sustainable violence reduction strategies.
As Attorney General I will:
- Pursue cases against those caught illegally trafficking guns into Maryland. I will lobby the General Assembly to ban “ghost guns,” which are unserialized and untraceable firearms, as well as 3D printed ghost guns that can be bought online and assembled at home. My office will hold manufacturers accountable for the harm they cause in communities; as Attorney General, I will join existing lawsuits to prevent these companies from peddling their weapons in Maryland.
- Prosecute white nationalist groups, domestic terrorist organizations, and any organized effort to impede government operation or the sanctity of our elections.
- Support the expansion of community-level Safe Streets programs, which use evidence-based strategies and mediation to prevent violence. Safe Streets programs successfully de-escalated over 500 conflicts in Baltimore in 2021, and we should expand this successful model statewide.
- Work with and join bodies like the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to identify methods to improve criminal justice administration, state and local coordination, and achieve systemic improvement in Maryland.
- Instruct my office to join the existing Federal/state Violent Crime Strike Force to support its complex investigations leading to state and federal prosecutions of high-level violent criminal organizations.
- Advocate for legislation that gives victims of gun violence the ability to sue arms manufacturers. The gun industry is protected by the PLCAA, a federal act which protects manufacturers from wrongdoings connected to their products. Maryland should follow the lead of states like New York, requiring manufacturers take steps to prevent their products from falling into the wrong hands, and allowing victims to sue those who don’t.
- Commit to an audit of the Division of Parole and Probation to ensure that there are enough agents to monitor violent offenders.