Gun safety advocates call for stricter gun laws in Annapolis as teen violence increases
BALTIMORE -- Hundreds of gun safety advocates gathered in Annapolis on Tuesday pleading for people to "put down their guns."
On Gun Safety Advocacy, those in the crowd, including many mothers, pushed for tougher gun laws.
In January, three teenagers younger than the age of 18 were shot and killed in Baltimore City.
Gov. Wes Moore joined gun safety groups in Annapolis calling for tighter gun laws.
"Right now, in Annapolis, we've got your back and your issues are ours," Moore said.
"Gun violence is an epidemic in this country and it's senseless," added Melissa Ladd, with Maryland Moms Demand Action.
Logan Scott, a student at Baltimore's Edmondson Westside High School, said she knows some of the five students shot earlier this month at Edmondson Village Shopping Center.
"I feel like it needs to be stopped and changed and stuff," Scott said. "Every time you go on a social media platform, it's another homicide on Murder Inc."
The five teens are among the many teenage gunshot victims at the beginning of 2023.
Police are still looking for the suspected shooters.
"Please, get the killers off the street is all I'm pleading before they kill again," said Donna Ashe-Spriggs, Dorsey's grandmother.
On New Year's Day, 17-year-old D'Asia Garrison was murdered.
The violence has not been limited to the city.
Lamar Leslie-Allen, 15, was killed in Windsor Mill on January 21.
His family is preparing this week for his funeral while pleading for justice.
"He was my only child. My only one," mother Tiona Allen said.
Baltimore City students were shot outside Benjamin Franklin High School on January 6.
Then, last week, 15-year-old Laron Henderson was shot and killed in an alleyway near Forest Park High School.
His family called for tougher laws.
"Once you start making an example of people doing things like this, you're a child, but you're doing these adult things?" relative Shanea Jones said.
Moore assured gun safety advocates he's with them.
"These deadly weapons and these illegal guns have no place in our society and we will work and create laws to remove them," Moore said.
Lawmakers filed bills this session aimed at raising the age to buy rifles and shotguns to 21, creating tighter gun storage requirements and restricting guns in certain public places.
Here are some links of gun legislation filed by lawmakers in Annapolis:
- Senate Bill 1 – Restricting guns in certain public places, https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0001?ys=2023RS
- SB 113 / HB 259 – Ending "gun industry immunity", https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0113?ys=2023RS
- Senate Bill 86 – Raising age to 21 for rifles and shotguns, https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0086?ys=2023RS
- HB 307 – Storage Requirements (Jaelynn's Law), https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb0307?ys=2023RS
- SB 159 / HB 259 – Voluntary "Do Not Sell" Registry, https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0159?ys=2023RS
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