Statement from County Council President Gabe Albornoz on Efforts to Eradicate Ghost Guns

by Patrick Herron
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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, who also serves as the president of the Montgomery County Council and chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, made the following statement in support of legislation proposed in the Maryland General Assembly to crack down on ghost guns. Albornoz issued the following statement on his own behalf.

“Tackling the proliferation of ghost guns requires a sustained and forceful partnership among all levels of government. Ghost gun recoveries across the U.S. are on the rise, and Montgomery County is no exception.

“In recent months, residents and our young people have been directly impacted by the dangerous effects of ghost guns. On Friday, Montgomery County Public Schools had its first shooting inside a school building, and the shot fired came from a ghost gun.

“Montgomery County’s own State’s Attorney John McCarthy reports that 16 ghost guns were seized in our community in 2019. This number has increased nearly fivefold, with 70 of these weapons being confiscated in 2021.

“In response to the continuing and growing epidemic of gun violence, I introduced, and the Council enacted, Bill 4-21, Weapons – Protection of Minors and Public Places – Restrictions Against Ghost Guns and Undetectable Guns, otherwise known as the Ghost Guns Bill. This pivotal legislation prohibits access to ghost guns by minors younger than 18 years of age within 100 yards of a place of public assembly. This law was the first of its kind for a local jurisdiction in Maryland.

“While the Ghost Guns Bill is being challenged in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, it is currently enforceable; however, this local effort is clearly not enough. Our community needs our state and federal partners to take further action to ban access to these dangerous and undetectable firearms.

“Recently, Attorney General Frosh, State Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Lesley Lopez introduced legislation at the state level to ban ghost guns in Maryland. I thank them for all their efforts on this critically important issue, and I strongly support this measure.

“Counties across the state, need action on this critical issue now. This bill must be enacted during this year’s legislative session in Annapolis, and I will do all I can to build on what we have done at the local level to crack down on ghost guns.

“It is our moral responsibility to implement commonsense measures that will safeguard our young people, families, first responders and residents from immediate harm. I pledge to continue doing everything within my power as a councilmember and will continue working with our state, federal and law enforcement partners to help protect public safety.”

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