ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — Thursday night in Anne Arundel County--county leaders looking at gun violence as a public health crisis.
The Capital Gazette shooting, and every gun related death that has happened before an afterword weighing on people's minds.
The Anne Arundel County Gun Violence Prevention Task Force rolled out its preliminary report.
Bishop Charles Carrol is the chair of the task force and knows firsthand the pain of loss— his son was killed in Annapolis in 2016.
“Gun violence chose me I didn’t choose Gun violence,” said Carrol. “I became a victim of it so now I’m just spending my life as an advocate to try to prevent someone else from going through the things that I went through.”
The plan is broken down into intervening before gun violence happens, public outreach, and enhanced gun safety measures.
“We’re really not allowed to pass laws that limit access to guns,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “That’s done by the state and the federal government. As people saw tonight this really came down to a public health issue.”
In total 209 people were killed from 2013 to 2017-- and about 40 a year the last two years.
About 70% were suicides and 30% were homicides.
“When we know that there are areas of violence, we look at it, understand that it’s there, and send in people that are familiar with the community to break that cycle of violence,” said Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman.
MOMS Demand Action For Gun Sense in America out in force to hear the task force's plan and share their thoughts.
“Public education about safe storage, public education about suicide risks, public education about law enforcement tools such as emergency risk protective orders,” said MOMS member Alexandra Matiella Novak.
Pittman said part of the solution is partnering with surrounding areas.
“We’re already starting to talk to Baltimore City and the surrounding counties about tracking guns as they move across borders so that our police departments are sharing data.”
This was a preliminary report; the task force will release a full plan in April.