A proposed County Council resolution urges the governor and state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on gun and ammunition sales.
Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro, D-Dist. 4, is expected to introduce the resolution Tuesday.
The resolution asks state leaders to:
- Establish a protocol for requiring mental health providers to notify gun permit issuers of anyone involuntarily committed to a mental institution, or found to be a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness.
- Ban armor-piercing bullets, all forms of assault weapons and magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds; and close the “gun show” loophole.
- Lift the restrictions Congress has placed on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives preventing it from sharing its gun database with local law enforcement
- Increase mandatory penalties for criminals convicted of carrying and using firearms in the commission of a violent crime.
The Council is scheduled to take up the resolution at its next meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 22.
A copy of the resolution is posted at the County Council website.
A state taskforce directed to study the adequacy of gun policies as they relate to people with mental illnesses issued a report on Jan. 2, 2013.
Among the report’s nine recommendations was the finding that there was no mandate that mental health professionals and social workers report threats of harm to police.
That report, which is referenced in Navarro’s resolution, can be found here.
State laws prohibit gun ownership for people who suffer from a mental disorder and have had a history of violent behavior, and for people who have been confined at a facility for mental health reasons. In each case, people could be exempted if a physician certifies that they could own a firearm without posing a threat to others, according to the report.
Montgomery County State's Attorney Makes Similar Case
The proposed resolution also mirrors recommendations made by Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey in a Washington Post op-ed published on Jan. 4. They advocated for requiring that mental health providers tell police about people with serious mental issues:
“The mere banning of specific weapons or forms of ammunition will not be enough. We must also take a hard look at the relationship between mental-health issues and gun violence. For instance, the only information provided to the Maryland State Police on mental-health matters for those applying for gun ownership is self-reported. That needs to change. What incentive does a person applying for a firearm have to supply this information?”
The full op-ed can be viewed at WashingtonPost.com.