BALTIMORE — Democrat Ben Jealous said recently that if he were elected governor over a popular Republican incumbent he would support broadening a new Maryland gun-control law to restrict firearms access to people found to be a risk to themselves or others. The former NAACP president also said he would stand up to President Donald Trump, whom he believes should be impeached.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Jealous said he supports significantly expanding the state’s new “red flag” law to enable more people in Maryland to ask courts to temporarily restrict firearms for people found to pose a threat. The law now enables families, law enforcement and medical professionals to do so.
“We have an interest in protecting peoples’ constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment, Jealous said. But he added, “we have zero interest in creating obstacles to removing weapons from mentally deranged people who would do the public harm.”
Maryland has been shaken this year by gun violence, a major issue in the governor’s race. Jealous is running against popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who signed the red flag measure into law that was approved by the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly. Hogan has had big leads in recent polls and a large campaign fundraising edge.
In March, a female student was fatally shot by a classmate at a high school in southern Maryland before the 17-year-old gunman shot and killed himself. In June, a man with a shotgun attacked the Capital/Gazette newspaper office in Annapolis, killing five employees. Last month, a woman killed three people at a Maryland warehouse before she shot herself. Authorities said she had been diagnosed with mental illness in 2016, but had legally purchased the handgun she used.