Montgomery Co. leaders call for stricter gun laws nationwide

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Following the high school shooting at Parkland, Florida, pressure is growing on Congress to toughen gun laws. And the latest call is coming from Montgomery County, Maryland.

Political leaders, police and students rallied on the steps of the Montgomery County Council Office Building in Rockville, Maryland, to demand stricter gun laws nationally.

“When the president comes out and says ‘let’s arm teachers’ — this is just so crazy, it’s beyond belief. What is insane is having weapons of mass destruction readily available, and that’s what assault rifles are — they are weapons of mass destruction,” said Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner.

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Maryland already has among the toughest gun laws in the nation. Assault-style rifles are banned in Maryland. State gun laws also limit the number of firearms that can be purchased at one time. Gun buyers must be fingerprinted and are required to complete a gun safety training program.

“Keep in mind when you hear people say that this is just a problem of mental illness; you know, they have mental illness in other countries,” said County Executive Ike Leggett.

Critics of expanding stricter gun control laws say adding federal gun laws won’t boost safety, and some federal gun laws are not properly enforced.

But following the deadly mass shooting in Florida, high school students have been raising their voices for tougher national gun laws, including a nationwide ban on assault-style weapons.

“None of us should be afraid to go to school every day. We, as students, are not demanding a lot here; we’re asking to not be shot, we’re asking to not learn in fear, we’re asking to not be stuck as the mass shooting generation,” said Matt Post, student representative on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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