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Baltimore Expert: Maryland General Assembly Will Likely Re-Examine Gun Regulations After Buffalo Shooting

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A supermarket in Buffalo, New York, became the scene of another mass shooting on Saturday.

The FBI says that 10 out of 13 people died after they were shot by 18-year-old Payton Gendron.

Gendron was motivated by racial hatred, according to authorities.

"He specifically went to this area in Buffalo because that zip code has the highest number of African-American citizens in that region in the state of New York," Michael Greenberg, the director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security, said.

Greenberg is an expert in homeland security and terrorism who has been looking at the suspect's past before the Saturday shooting.

Greenberg noted that Gendron was investigated by the New York State Police as a juvenile for concerning comments made while in high school.

"The focus of that investigation was when he was a juvenile, so it never found its way into a federal database that would have demonstrated that he was a danger," he said.

Greenberg believes the deadly attack will prompt various states to re-examine their handgun and long-gun regulations.

"I'm sure, for example, the Maryland General Assembly will take this up next time they convene to ensure that Maryland laws don't have loopholes that would allow something like this to happen," he said.

Stricter gun laws weigh on the minds of some people in Maryland and across the country. But that isn't the only concern people have following the attack in Buffalo.

Other people are expressing concern about social media companies and users. Investigators say the suspect live-streamed the shooting on a social media platform.

The operator of that platform says the video was taken down within two minutes.

Experts are urging people to report any suspicious social media posts or behavior in hopes of preventing future attacks.

These ideas hang in the balance, yet there are ways to disarm hate and make sure people who are at risk of committing crimes don't have access to lethal weapons in our state,  Joshua Horwitz, co-director for Johns Hopkins Gun Violence Solutions, said.

"In Maryland, we have a protection order, which gives family members and law enforcement and health care providers the ability to intervene," Horwitz said. "If they feel someone is in trouble whether it's harm to themselves or others, we have a law and it's a civil protection order. It's simply to get the guns, the most lethal means of violence, out of the hands of someone that can be at risk."

A felony hearing for Gendron is scheduled for Thursday morning.

He has been charged with first-degree murder. 

Gendron has pleaded not guilty.

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