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Firearm Policy Proposals in Maryland, 2013 Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH Associate Professor Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Co-Director Johns.

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Presentation on theme: "Firearm Policy Proposals in Maryland, 2013 Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH Associate Professor Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Co-Director Johns."— Presentation transcript:

1 Firearm Policy Proposals in Maryland, 2013 Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH Associate Professor Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Co-Director Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research

2 Suicide: 19,392 Unintentional: 606 Homicide: 11,078 Distribution of Firearm-related Deaths in the United States, 2010 Total Firearm Deaths = 31,672

3 Non-Fatal Firearm Injuries About 2.3 non-fatal firearm injuries for every fatality An estimated 73,505 in 2010 (requiring at least ED treatment) Source: CDC, WISQARS

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5 Firearm Homicides by Type of Gun, 2010 Total Firearm Homicides for which Type of Gun is Known = 6,836 Handgun: 88% Rifle: 5% Shotgun: 5%Other guns: 2%

6 Maryland Gun Deaths 538 deaths by gunshot in 2010 (NCHS) 312 homicides and 222 suicides Age-adjusted death rate (9.26/100,000) is 17 th lowest among 50 states in 2010

7 Banning Assault Weapons An assault weapon is a civilian version of a military-style weapon Maryland currently bans assault “pistols” but not other types of assault weapons: i.e., rifles and shotguns Federal assault weapons ban allowed to expire in 2004.

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9 Evaluation of 1994 Federal AWB AW rarely used in crime prior to ban (1-8% of all crime guns) Decrease in use of AW in crime post-ban Non-significant 6.7% reduction in homicides associated with the law Copy-cat weapons readily available (Koper and Roth, NIJ Research-in-Brief 1999)

10 Banning Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines Federal law outlawing future purchase or possession of LCMs >10 rounds allowed to expire in Current law in Maryland bans >20 round magazines. Proposal would reduce limit to > 10 rounds. LCMs applicable to many more types of shootings than assault weapons.

11 Permit-to-Purchase Licensing of Gun Owners States with both licensing and registration have a smaller proportion of crime guns coming from in-state (Webster & Vernick, Injury Prevention 2001) States with licensing laws have much less gun trafficking both within-state and to other states Maryland does not currently license owners Governor’s proposal would add licensing

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14 Child Access Prevention Laws Maryland has a CAP Law. Penalty is currently a misdemeanor (max $1,000 fine). Bill would enhance penalty to a felony (max 3 years or $5,000 fine) Good research evidence that CAP laws reduce unintentional deaths among children and teen suicides. Evidence that stricter penalties help.

15 Mental Health and Guns Federal law prohibits those “adjudicated as a mental defective” or committed to a mental institution from owning guns. Information often missing from background check databases. Most persons with mental illness are not dangerous.

16 Mental Health and Guns, cont. MD law currently: 30 consecutive days in a medical institution for mental disorder Governor’s bill would add additional categories, including: not criminally responsible; incompetent to stand trial; involuntary admissions; guardianships A controversial area: need to balance public safety with desire to minimize stigma and not discourage care seeking

17 Reporting Lost and Stolen Guns Theory is that requiring gun owners to report lost/stolen guns enhances accountability. Maryland currently has no such law. Bill would mandate reporting within 72 hours of discovery. States with theft/loss reporting have 30% lower rates of gun trafficking.

18 Conclusion Many evidence-based policies proposed Center for Gun Policy and Research providing data, testimony, interviews. Also working at the federal level: universal background checks, etc.


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