Governor Hogan Calls on General Assembly to Pass Emergency Legislation on Violent Criminals

by Patrick Herron

Governor Hogan released the following statement on Friday, April 8:

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today again called on the Maryland General Assembly to pass emergency legislation to hold violent criminals accountable, as he took action to allow legislation regarding untraceable firearms to become law without his signature.

Read the governor’s letter, in which he writes:

“I appreciate the work you have put into Senate Bill 387/House Bill 425 to address issues surrounding untraceable firearms, and agree that it is a positive step as we seek to stem the tide of violent crime, which is why I am allowing it to take effect. But it does nothing to penalize those who actually pull the triggers on firearms, and deflects away from the need to take decisive action to hold violent criminals accountable.

“It is my hope that in the last days of this session, the General Assembly will do the right thing and pass the Violent Firearms Offender Act, so that we can ensure those who use guns to commit violent and heinous crimes remain off of our streets and out of our communities. At the very least, I ask you to give the victims and their families a vote, so that legislators can explain to their constituents where they stand on this issue.”

In addition to a $500 million Re-Fund The Police Initiative, the governor has proposed two emergency crime bills:

  • The Judicial Transparency Act (SB 392), which has unanimously passed the Senate. The measure will require that, for the first time, detailed information is published on the sentences that are handed down for violent crimes.
  • The Violent Firearms Offender Act (HB 423/SB 396) to significantly toughen penalties for offenders who use and illegally possess firearms, as well as those who illegally supply firearms to criminals.

Last month, the governor announced $45 million for major violent crime initiatives, including more resources for federal prosecutions and warrant initiatives, and additional funding for victim services providers.

Additional legislative actions will be announced later today.

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