By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– The organization “Moms Demand Action” is calling on Maryland lawmakers to prevent convicted domestic abusers from owning guns.

The moms are demanding action from lawmakers to prevent domestic abusers from owning guns, an effort that has failed in the past.

“It’s my understanding that this bill has been brought for four years. That’s unacceptable, it’s unacceptable and it’s unacceptable,” said Howard County Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary.

While convicted abusers are prohibited from buying or possessing firearms, there is no mechanism in place to assure they turn in guns they already have.

Del. Atterbeary is sponsoring legislation to fill that sometimes fatal gap.

“Last year at the bill hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, I held up the pictures of six women from across the state who were shot to death by their partner who was disqualified from having a handgun,” Del. Atterbeary said.

The proposed bill means that every time a person is convicted of domestic abuse, the court informs them they are prohibited from owning guns and order them to surrender any firearms they already have.

According to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, nearly 60 percent of the domestic violence homicide victims in Maryland are shot. This is not the first time such legislation has been proposed, and it is not clear yet when a hearing might be scheduled.

The first hurdle is to get the bill voted out of committee and onto the House and Senate floors for a vote.

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