Press Release: Council President Albornoz Introduces Legislation Prohibiting Guns in Areas of Public Assembly in Montgomery County

Per Montgomery County:
From the Office of Council President Gabe Albornoz
Today Montgomery County Council President Gabe Albornoz introduced legislation aimed at curbing gun violence in the County. This bill is co-sponsored by the full Council.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 23 ruling that the proper cause requirement under the state of New York’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional, many similar concealed carry state laws across the nation have been impacted. In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced on July 5 that, effective immediately, Maryland State Police were instructed to suspend the state’s existing “good and substantial reason” standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry permits, thus substantially lowering the barrier for gun licenses of this nature.

Montgomery County is facing an epidemic of gun violence, which, in line with national trends, has become exacerbated following the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022 alone, Montgomery County has seen 15 homicides linked to firearms. Montgomery County Police have recovered 727 guns, of which 105 are Privately Manufactured Firearms (PMFs), also known as ghost guns. These numbers show a significant increase over last year’s data. In all of 2021, the department recovered a total of 1,192 guns, of which 72 were PMFs. In 2021, the Council unanimously passed legislation spearheaded by Councilmember Albornoz that would restrict the sale and transfer of ghost guns to minors. This legislation was followed by the Maryland legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 387 in March 2022, which closes a dangerous loophole that makes it difficult for law enforcement to protect the public, by banning ghost guns statewide.

“I continue to believe that guns create immeasurably more problems, often with tragic outcomes, than they attempt to solve,” said Council President Albornoz. “This legislation will help to ensure that we do everything possible to minimize the amount of guns in our public space. I have confidence that our Maryland General Assembly will take action, but given the urgency of gun violence in our community, I felt strongly that we could not wait to take action at the local level.”

Expedited Bill 21-22 would prohibit the possession of firearms in or near places of public assembly, with certain exemptions, as well as remove an exemption that allows individuals with certain handgun permits to possess handguns within 100 yards of a place of public assembly. The statute would not apply to a law enforcement officer or a security guard licensed to carry a firearm. It also would not apply to the possession of a firearm or ammunition, other than a ghost gun or an undetectable gun, in the person’s own home or a business where the owner or designated employee has a permit to carry a firearm.

The staff report for this bill can be found here.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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