Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman speaks out after a gun was fired at Arundel Mills Mall on Saturday.
Police are still investigating the incident in which someone shot a gun inside the food court at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, sending shoppers into a panic.
In a series of tweets, Anne Arundel County police say video footage revealed that the person who shot off the gun may have done it accidentally.
No one was hurt in the accidental firing, but Pittman said people were injured fleeing the scene.
“People fled, people were hurt, all because a firearm went off in a crowded public space. My heart goes out to everyone present for this incident – nobody should have to go through what you did today,” he said.
Pittman said that he believes public places could be increasingly susceptible to incidents like this because of recent changes in the law.
“Three months ago, the Supreme Court made it more dangerous to go to the mall in America,” Pittman said. “The NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision made it easier to carry guns in public places, and Maryland followed suit, removing the ‘good and substantial reason’ that had been required to obtain a concealed carry permit.”
He said that the next month, concealed carry permit applications in Maryland soared by 700% compared to the same month in 2021.
“Today, we saw what happens when more guns are present in our communities,” Pittman said. “Families enjoying a meal in the food court at Arundel Mills experienced the terror of not knowing whether they would be the latest victims of a mass shooting.”
He said that gun crime has fallen in Anne Arundel county from 2018 to 2021, but incidents like this one he said are scary and frustrating.
“I will stand with our law enforcement community and push back against this idea of promoting guns in public places. It’s dangerous and it’s stupid,” said Pittman.