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Maryland leaders call on Hogan to sign bill banning ghost guns

Ghost gun. (7News)
Ghost gun. (7News)
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Maryland leaders joined Moms Demand Action in a Thursday morning virtual conference to call on Governor Larry Hogan to sign a bill banning ghost guns in the state.

“One thing is certain: ghost guns are an extreme threat to communities across Maryland, and it’s time for that to change,” said Melissa Ladd, a volunteer leader with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action in a statement. “Thanks to tireless advocacy by gun safety champions and allies, our state now has a clear path to prohibiting these dangerous, untraceable weapons. We are grateful to lawmakers in the House for their steadfast commitment throughout this process to ending gun violence, and we urge Governor Hogan to sign the bill into law and make Maryland a safer place."

Watch the conference here or below:

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Sen. Susan Lee (D-Montgomery) and Del. Leslie Lopez (D-Montgomery) joined in on the call for action.

This comes after a trend of ghost gun shootings across the U.S., including a January shooting at Magruder High School in which a ghost gun was used. The shooting left a 15-year-old student critically injured.

SEE ALSO | Ghost gun seized from 17-year-old at Charles County school

The ghost gun bill prohibits a person from buying, selling, or transferring an unregistered firearm.

Ghost guns don’t have serial numbers and aren’t legally classified as firearms, which allows buyers to get them without background checks.

Se. Lee who is co-sponsoring a bill said she believes there is a good chance the bill will be passed this year.

"No matter how many gun safety laws you pass, in particular long guns and shotguns, this bill closes a major loophole because you can work around the law and make a gun with parts and no serial number on it. Thus no background checks [are required] and guns are untraceable. Ghost guns are being used increasingly by violent criminals, domestic abusers and those not allowed to possess by guns," Lee said earlier this year.

RELATED | Survivors of gun violence, protesters urge Maryland lawmakers to ban ghost guns at rally

According to Moms Demand Action, "in an average year in Maryland, 743 people die by guns and 1,747 people are wounded."

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the State House leaders passed the bill. The measure was approved by a vote of 92-41.

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The bill now heads to Hogan's desk.

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