Maryland would create a new center to foster a statewide partnership with federal and local agencies to reduce gun violence, under a bill approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

The measure, proposed by Gov. Wes Moore, would put the Center for Firearm Violence Prevention in the Maryland Department of Health to implement a public health approach to reducing firearms violence.

The bill, approved on a 35-11 vote, now goes to the Maryland House, where a similar bill has been introduced.

Last year, President Joe Biden created the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention, which is overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris. The office coordinates efforts across the federal government to offer help and guidance to states struggling with increasing gun violence. The administration has urged states to create their own offices to help focus federal grants to reduce violence.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The center would work with the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention and Policy and the state police to build a whole-of-government approach to reducing firearm violence. It would help direct federal funds, as well as share statewide data.

The Maryland center would consider recommendations from communities and submit a plan to the governor and state lawmakers on how to reduce firearm violence by May 1, 2025. The center’s staff also would submit a state plan to reduce gun violence by using public health strategies by May, 1, 2029.

More From The Banner