BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland has some of the strictest gun laws in America, yet according to the Giffords Law Center, one person is killed every 13 hours in the state on average.
One of those still dealing with the pain is the family of John McNamara. The widow of the murdered Capital Gazette reporter spoke to WJZ on the one year anniversary of his death.
“I feel like I’m waking up from a nightmare except the nightmare is still here, and it’s really real,” Chamblee said in June. “I just want to make sure no other family has to join this terrible club of gun violence victims again. The club needs to have its membership closed.”
In the Capital Gazette massacre, the shooter purchased the weapon legally — even though he was making death threats against reporters. The state had no red flag law at the time that could have lead to the confiscation of weapons from someone who poses an immediate danger.
While Maryland State Police closely regulate handguns, they do not license long guns — like the pump-action shotgun used in the Capital Gazette mass shooting. A measure to do so failed in the Maryland General Assembly earlier in 2019. The National Rifle Association said the legislation imposed “unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles” on gun owners.
Licensing for long guns is the federal government’s responsibility.
Maryland State Police has seen the number of background checks rise from 28,620 in 2014 to 53,504 in 2018. Through July of this year, there have been 31,209.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) August 7, 2019
In the mass shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in Harford County in 2018, the shooter purchased her gun legally eight months beforehand —and reportedly lied on her background check form — saying she had no mental health diagnosis when she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
In the Edgewood mass shooting in 2017, the gunman was prohibited from possessing a gun because of his felony convictions.
Police in Cecil County stopped him two years prior with a gun in his car — yet prosecutors dropped the charges. And a judge denied a protective order from a previous employer who was frightened by Prince’s explosive temper.
In Baltimore last month, the man who opened fire at a methadone clinic was not the registered owner of the .357 magnum revolver he used in the attack.
“We do know who the registered owner is, and we are running that lead out,” said BPD Capt. Donald Diehl on June 23.
Diehl said no more weapons were found in a search of Pinkney’s home, but Pinkney did have extra rounds of ammunition on him when he went into the clinic. Police have yet to reveal how he obtained the gun.
Also, in the wake of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas last weekend, the Maryland Stadium Authority says fans at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium can expect to see extra police presence.
Authorities say it is just a precaution and there have been no “specific or credible threats.”