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Voluntary ‘Do Not Sell’ firearm list clears first vote in Maryland General Assembly

Maryland State House in Annapolis
Matt Bush/WYPR
Maryland State House in Annapolis

Editor's Note: This story discusses the topic of suicide. If you or someone you know is in a mental health crisis or in need of mental health help , you can call 9-8-8, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

The creation of a voluntary do not sell list for firearms cleared its first vote in the Maryland General Assembly Friday. The suicide prevention bill is called Donna’s Law, named for Donna Nathan, a woman who died by suicide in New Orleans in 2018. Only three states have passed it - neighboring Virginia (in 2021), as well as Utah and Washington.

In Maryland, the measure passed an initial vote Friday in the House of Delegates, where Montgomery County Democrat David Moon explained the list’s purpose. “A person, who is having a moment of clarity, and wishes to place themselves on a list to prevent themselves from being able to purchase a regulated firearm may do so,” Moon said. He went on to liken the possible list to a similar existing one in Maryland for problem gambling, where a problem gambler can put themselves on a list to bar them from entering casinos or receiving lottery winnings. The voluntary firearm list would be maintained by the Maryland Department of Health.

Once the House takes its final vote on the bill, it heads to the Senate.

Matt Bush spent 14 years in public radio prior to coming to WYPR as news director in October 2022. From 2008 to 2016, he worked at Washington D.C.’s NPR affiliate, WAMU, where he was the station’s Maryland reporter. He covered the Maryland General Assembly for six years (alongside several WYPR reporters in the statehouse radio bullpen) as well as both Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. @MattBushMD
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