Council Introduces Legislation to Ban Firearms In, Near Public Places

Firearms would not be permitted in or near public places under terms of new legislation introduced during yesterday’s County Council meeting.

Expedited Bill 21-22 would prohibit the possession of firearms in or near places of public assembly, with certain exemptions, as well as remove an exemption that allows individuals with certain handgun permits to possess handguns within 100 yards of a place of public assembly,” according to a council press release.

The action comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a requirement in New York State’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional. Many states have similar laws, including Maryland, and are taking action to lower the barrier for concealed carry licenses.

“Montgomery County Police have recovered 727 guns, of which 105 are Privately Manufactured Firearms (PMFs), also known as ghost guns,” according to the release. “These numbers show a significant increase over last year’s data. In all of 2021, the department recovered a total of 1,192 guns, of which 72 were PMFs.”

Last year, the council outlawed the sale or transfer of ghost guns to minors, as did the state in March 2022.

“I continue to believe that guns create immeasurably more problems, often with tragic outcomes, than they attempt to solve,” Council President Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large) said in the release. “This legislation will help to ensure that we do everything possible to minimize the amount of guns in our public space.”

The proposed legislation includes exceptions for which it would not apply:

  • A law enforcement officer or a security guard licensed to carry a firearm, or
  • Possession of a firearm or ammunition, other than a ghost gun or an undetectable gun, in the person’s own home or a business where the owner or designated employee has a permit to carry a firearm.

Albornoz was the lead sponsor of the legislation and all other councilmembers signed on as cosponsors.

Photo: © Michael – stock.adobe.com

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