Common-sense gun violence prevention measures are essential for our community.

Preventing Gun Violence

Common-sense gun violence prevention measures are essential for our community.


Joel is a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate. Click here to read his answers to their survey.


Our country is long overdue for meaningful gun violence prevention legislation. We cannot allow our schools, universities, movie theaters, and neighborhoods to be shooting galleries for random acts of violence. The NRA works hard every day to convince lawmakers that more guns are the answer and that fewer restrictions will make us safer, when we know the opposite is true. Every day more than 30 Americans are killed on average by gun violence, and firearms homicide is the second-leading cause of death for young people under 20 years old.


We know that 9 out of 10 Americans want universal background checks, and that background checks work, blocking nearly 2 million attempts to purchase firearms over the last 20 years, half of which were made by felons. Joel supports the decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last February to uphold Maryland’s ban on military-style guns which Brian Frosh rightly called “weapons of war.” In Annapolis, Joel will stand up to the pro-gun lobby at every step and immediately push these common-sense gun violence prevention measures by:


  1. Passing common sense, comprehensive background check legislation that we know reduces gun trafficking and lethality in domestic violence.

  2. Strengthening state law to prohibit domestic abusers from buying a gun.

  3. Cracking down on straw purchasers who buy guns for people who would not pass a background check by making straw purchases a felony offense.

  4. Reinstating the ban on military-style assault weapons that have no place on our streets or in our neighborhoods.


Joel's Responses to the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense State Candidate Questionnaire


Q: Do you have any personal connection to the gun violence prevention movement?


A: As a parent of three young daughters attending Montgomery County Public Schools, their safety is always on my mind and I’m proud of the way my daughters have responded to the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Memorably, we attended the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC and my oldest daughter was interviewed by Colombian television to explain the sign she carried, which simply read, “Don’t Shoot Me.” Additionally, in the wake of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, I was invited to debate sensible gun control policy on international television alongside gun activist John Lott, who tried to push a false narrative arguing that crime rates in Mexico were evidence that an armed populace makes for a safer society. You can see both clips at Additionally, I worked to prevent gun violence and strengthen community policing as a Legislative Fellow in the Office of retired Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), and also worked for a leading gun control advocate, the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). I understand the corrosive effects that fear and violence have on our young people and our communities and have made stricter gun control a central issue in my campaign.


Q: Would you like to provide any relevant background for your answers?


A: I want Maryland to have the strictest gun safety laws in the nation. I am in favor of blanket bans on the purchase and possession of all semi-automatic weapons and would gladly support the most intrusive background checks we can enact. I am proud of the actions that the Maryland State Legislature recently took to ban bump stocks and enact ‘red flag’ laws. As a Delegate, I would make it my priority to ensure that the gun laws of other states do not infringe on the strong protections that we have won. Lastly, I believe that Maryland can export its gun control measures to other states as well, in order to change our country’s gun culture.


Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes. Since its inception after the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Everytown Survivor Network, is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than four million supporters.