ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– In the wake of the school shooting in Florida and tragic incidents across the region, there’s a push by Maryland lawmakers to take guns away from potentially violent people.
Thursday’s hearing in Annapolis was centered around the Lethal Violence Protective Order. If the bill is passed, it would allow a family member or law enforcement to go in front of a judge with clear and convincing evidence on why someone shouldn’t be in possession of a weapon.
“This is common sense. I am relieved that we are now at this point,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.
An order could be issued to remove that firearm for up to one year.
“A judge can make a decision on whether or not it’s time to ask for relinquishing of the guns,” said Prince George’s County Del. Geraldine Valetino-Smith, who also introduced the bill.
It would seize the guns immediately and temporarily, and prevent the individual from buying another.
“Within two hours of this legislation, it goes into a database,” Alsobrooks said. “The person cannot purchase guns. In addition to that, it means we can now take the gun and require them to come to court.”
The Red Flag Law is in the spotlight following the deadly school shooting in Florida and after Cpl. Mujahid Ramazziddin of Prince George’s County Police was gunned down intervening in a domestic violence situation. Police say the suspect, Glenn Tyndell, should not have had a firearm.
“There were a number of neighbors in that neighborhood who came out after Cpl. Ramazziddin was murdered who said ‘we knew that guy was violent, we knew there was an issue is this home,’ and it would have been wonderful to have a neighbor to have the ability to go to the court.”
The bill has drawn backlash from gun rights advocates. Gov. Larry Hogan says the time to act is now.
“I’ve never seen this much focus and attention. I feel as if that maybe we’ve reached a point where people are finally ready to get something done,” he said earlier this week.
The removal of the firearm would be temporary so they can have further proceedings. Dozens of other states are considering orders like this.