Stemming the tide of violence

Jon is proud that Maryland passed one of the most aggressive violence prevention bills in the nation last year. However, glaring loopholes remain that leave Maryland families at risk. This year alone, police recorded over 200 instances of unqualified handgun owners with records of mental instability, domestic violence, or felony convictions including one where a gun was used in a carjacking. Additionally, mental health screenings are underfunded and underutilized. This puts our schools, workplaces, places of worship, and other public spaces, at risk as we have tragically come to know all too well in light of the Sandy Hook and Aurora tragedies, in addition to shootings that have occurred right here in Maryland.

Comprehensive treatment for mental health should not be more difficult to access than the weapons used in these mass murders.

Jon’s focus is on mental health issues and common sense gun reform. That’s why he proposed a tax on ammunition that would raise revenue to fund mental health programs and pay for the modernization of permitting and licensing technology. The tax could raise over half a million dollars each year, making Maryland safer while simultaneously providing care for those people with mental health issues. While the mentally ill should not be stigmatized, and the vast majority of people suffering from mental illnesses are non-violent, the fact remains that adequate screening and access to services could have prevented many of these violent tragedies. This session, Jon also sought to close a gun law loophole that allows potential firearms owners to purchase a weapon if the police have taken more than one week to process the required background check.