ANNAPOLIS (January 31, 2019)—Led by chants of "moms demand action" and "gun sense is common sense," dozens of red-shirted volunteers from the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America lobbied in Annapolis to support stricter gun laws Thursday.
The members of the gun-control advocacy group, along with several legislators and survivors of gun violence, expressed their desire for bills banning ghost guns and 3D printed guns and enforcing background checks for purchasing long guns and shotguns in Maryland.
The ban on "ghost guns" and 3D printed guns are among the top legislative priorities for Maryland Democrats this session.
Ghost guns are undetectable, untraceable and disguised firearms without serial numbers that can be built at home from parts and kits available online.
The online kits allow for the purchase of 80 percent of the lower parts of the gun, which needs the other 20 percent to be legally considered a firearm. The other 20 percent can be purchased from gun shops, said Delegate Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery.
"Bare minimum is no 3D guns in Maryland and no ghost guns," Dumais said.
Obtaining 80 percent of a ghost gun doesn't require a criminal background check, meaning that they can be obtained through a loophole by felons, domestic abusers and other individuals who are legally prohibited from owning or accessing firearms.
However, some opponents said the bills are unnecessary.
Sen. Michael Hough, R-Frederick and Carroll counties, told Capital News Service that he doesn't know of a crime in Maryland that's been committed with a ghost or 3D printed gun, but can think of plenty of crimes with illegal handguns that have killed children in Baltimore recently.
While there may have not been crimes involving 3D printed guns in Maryland yet, creating legislation on them is proactive, said Danielle Veith, the leader of the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action.
Hough added that 3D printed guns can cost thousands to manufacture, a prohibitive amount of money when normal guns can be assembled or purchased for less.
Estimated costs for the guns can be anywhere from two- to five-figure sums, varying depending on the gun's material and type of printer used.
"Our time is better spent on other things," he said.
Laws concerning long guns and shotguns are another topic in the General Assembly this session following several fatal local shootings.
It was a shotgun that fired through the glass door of the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis in June when five staff members were fatally shot.
Criminal background checks are not required to purchase long guns or shotguns in Maryland. An individual only needs to fill out a form and pass an instant background check.
Senate Majority Whip Susan Lee, D-Montgomery, plans to introduce a bill that will require background checks for shotguns and rifles.
Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, D-Howard, voiced her support for a bill requiring the background checks.
"I am a mom and I demand action," she said. "We are going to close the loophole."