Assault Weapons Ban
Assault-type weapons are appearing in greater numbers in many Montgomery County communities. Well-armed criminals and gangs threaten the safety of all voters and their families, as well as the safety of our law enforcement personnel, who increasing find themselves facing military-grade firearms. We must ban the sale, ownership and use of the types of assault-type weapons used in the commission of crimes. I strongly support HB 1367 - The Maryland Assault Weapons Ban of 2006, sponsored by Delegate Neil Quinter (D-13), which is now before the legislature. With the lapse of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, Maryland's citizns and law enforcement agencies need protection.
To see a Gazette article about this subject, click here.
Gangs are a scourge. They plague our poorest neighborhoods, destroying families and young lives and frustrating the hopes of many who are working hard to better themselves and their communities. We must take a strong stand against gangs. It is time for Maryland to enact STEP laws.
More than 35 states have enacted laws are patterned after California's Street Terrorism Enforcement Program (STEP) Act. STEP laws target criminal street gangs. They impose longer jail sentences on those convicted of crimes related to gang activity and, even more important, strengthen the ability of the State to prosecute such crimes. Although STEP laws allow the inclusion of evidence that courts previously may have excluded as potentially prejudicial, they fully maintain the legal rights of those accused of gang-related crimes and allow defense counsel adequate means for defending those rights.
Maryland is itself a victim of one of the nation's most violent gangs -- MS-13 -- yet the State has no STEP laws. We must change this situation, and I pledge to work toward passage of a Maryland STEP Act that will help us turn the tide against gangs and restore to all of our neighborhoods a sense of safety and security.