Public Safety Town Hall Meeting (Video & Photos)
Nearly 300 people turned out for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown’s town hall meeting on public safety at the Montgomery County Council Office Building on Feb. 6 in Rockville.
Brown was joined by a panel made up of State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus Brown, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery, Crime Control and Prevention Executive Director Tammy Brown, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein. Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro and County Executive Ike Leggett also participated in the meeting, which was moderated by Dean Don Kettl from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.
Brown talked about building a safer Maryland and highlighted crime trends that show violent crime is the lowest since 1977.
He also discussed legislation (Senate Bill 281, House Bill 294) that includes firearm safety ownership issues: ban military style assault weapons; reduce the maximum magazine capacity from 20 rounds to 10 rounds; actions will not be retroactive (Fireams legally purchased before Oct. 1, 2013 can remain with their owners.); prohibit individuals from possessing ammunition who are prohibited from possessing regulated firearms. Legislation also proposes increasing the screening of prospective handgun owners: fingerprints, background check, license and firearms safety training.
Speakers in the crowd were divided over the legislation with some supporting it and others opposed. The issues of mental health (expand categories of prohibited individuals, increase data sharing between agencies, expanded funding) and school safety (enhance school security, establish a statewide safety center, review local school system emergency plans) were also discussed.
Here are some scenes from the standing room only meeting.