When the President delivered his State of the Union last week, he demonstrated bold leadership on finding new and innovative ways to cut waste, increase efficiencies, improve education — from Pre-School to higher education — keep families safe, and create jobs. The vision the President laid out will move our nation forward. Here in Maryland, we are already working towards stronger families, stronger communities, and a stronger America.
Reducing Gun Violence
Here’s what President Obama Said:
“Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”
“Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.”
And here’s what we’ve done and are doing in Maryland:
Whether it’s horrific mass shootings like the ones in Newtown and Columbine, or murders on the streets of our cities, we lose far too many American lives each year to gun violence.
That’s why we’ve introduced a comprehensive approach to reduce gun violence focused on three strategies: (1) gun safety; (2) school safety; and (3) mental health.
1.) Gun safety: We should ban military-style assault weapons, limit large ammunition capacity, and require licenses for handgun purchases. We respect the rights of hunters and sportsmen and that’s why our licensing requirements will NOT apply to shotguns or rifles.
2.) School safety: We will invest in security upgrades for schools, including cameras at entrances, automatically locking doors, shatterproof glass and buzzer entrance systems. We will also establish a “Maryland Center for School Safety,” which will amplify our efforts by gathering meaningful data and serving as a central hub for collaboration between our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.
3.) Mental heath: First and foremost, we will work to keep guns away from people who may be dangerous to themselves or others as a result of mental illness. We will also improve data sharing practices between federal and state officials, and invest more to improve mental health services so we can intervene early and reduce the potential for violent behavior. Finally, we will expand crisis intervention teams, expand response services, and establish a center for excellence on early intervention for serious mental illness.
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