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Montgomery County State's Attorney expects Gov. Hogan to sign bill banning ghost guns in Maryland

“The Attorney General says 12,000 ghost guns were shipped into Maryland just last year,” Montgomery Co. State's Attorney John McCarthy said.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — A bill to ban ghost guns statewide — SB386 —  has received wide support among Maryland lawmakers. It would ban ghost guns in the state of Maryland.

“The Attorney General [Brian Frosh] says 12,000 ghost guns were shipped into Maryland just last year,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said in an interview with WUSA9.

In Montgomery County alone, the data shows these firearms are becoming a growing problem. Montgomery County Police Department data shows that 16 ghost guns were recovered in 2019, 56 were recovered in 2020, and 71 in 2021 — a 343.75% increase over a two year period. The department says they're on track to surpass last year's number in 2022.

“This is the most important, intelligent piece of criminal legislation that was in the legislature this year; addressing reducing violence in our community,” McCarthy said. 

Earlier this year, a student at Magruder High School was accused of bringing a ghost gun to school and shooting another student with it. McCarthy said five ghost guns have been taken out of Montgomery County Public Schools this year and, for him, keeping children safe from the weapons are his top priority.

“Getting this legislation passed, breathes life back into a lot of the gun legislation that's been adopted over the last 20-25 years here in the United States. Without getting a handle on ghost guns, you're basically rendering a lot of the positive things that we've done to control guns in our community, kind of meaningless,” he said. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) wasn’t speaking with members of the media on Wednesday and did not take questions on where he stands with the bill. But McCarthy said the bill has support not only from lawmakers but police across the state.

“I would be surprised if he did not sign this bill. I think he understands the challenges that guns pose for law enforcement. I think he understands the, the role they play in increasing violent crime and in communities across the state,” McCarthy said.

WUSA9 also reached out to a number of other law enforcement agencies across the state of Maryland and hasn’t received responses from all of them yet on the number of ghost guns they’ve retrieved over the last few years.

But in talking with Maryland State Police earlier today in a brief phone conversation, that data is somewhat difficult they said to come by unless the guns are left at a scene.

RELATED: Maryland House passes ban on ghost guns

RELATED: Montgomery Co. schools mull a return of police in hallways

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