Brown to push new domestic violence gun rules

The Baltimore Sun

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, whose cousin was killed last year by her estranged boyfriend, said he will urge lawmakers to pass the governor's initiatives on domestic violence.

Gov. Martin O'Malley is asking that judges be allowed to confiscate guns from the subjects of temporary protective orders, and be required to take them after final protective orders are issued.

Catherine T. Brown, 40, was fatally shot in August by Michael K. Wilson, who was then killed by Montgomery County police. The District of Columbia elementary school teacher had not sought a protective order against Wilson, but the lieutenant governor said the experience left him with a new urgency to protect victims of domestic violence.

"I'm not saying this would have protected her specifically, but it would protect many Marylanders in years to come," Brown said last week.

Maryland law does not give judges the authority to take guns when a temporary protective order is granted. Judges can confiscate guns when granting a final order but are not required to. Similar legislation was proposed last year at the request of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon but was voted down by the House Judiciary Committee.

Brown, O'Malley and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler will discuss the governor's initiatives today at the House of Ruth in Baltimore, which works to prevent domestic violence.

Brown, a Democrat who served two terms as a delegate from Prince George's County, plans to testify before House and Senate committees in favor of the bills.

Brown will also pitch in with O'Malley's drunken-driving bills, including a one-year license suspension for drivers convicted of drunken driving multiple times within a five-year period, and speed camera legislation. Brown said those proposals "will work to make our roads safer."

He will support several military initiatives, including an O'Malley-backed bill that would ease school requirements for children of military families who are transferring to Maryland. Brown has served in Iraq and is the state's point person on the issue of military base realignment.

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