© 2024 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jaelynn’s Law passes Maryland Senate, tightening requirements about gun storage

Maryland State House, Annapolis, Maryland.
Matt Bush
Maryland State House, Annapolis, Maryland.

The Maryland Senate has given final approval to a measure tightening requirements around storage of guns in the home. It’s named for a St. Mary’s County teen who was shot and killed by a fellow student in her high school five years ago.

On March 20, 2018, then-16-year-old Jaelynn Willey was shot and killed at Great Mills High School. The 17-year-old student who killed her used his father’s gun.

Almost five years to the day of her death, the Maryland Senate passed the bill bearing her name.

Under it, gun owners face new penalties if their firearms are not safely stored and end up in the hands of minors. The age of those minors is also raised to 17 in the measure. Unlike other gun bills this session, this one received a handful of Republican support. including Frederick County state Sen. William Folden.

“This bill is simply about responsible gun ownership,” Sen. Folden on the Senate floor Wednesday.

He was one of three Republicans to vote in favor of the bill.

“If you’re going to have that gun, and if you’re going to have it in an area that’s accessible to others…this is responsible gun ownership,” he said. “This is what everyone should be advocating for.”

The bill now moves to the House for approval. It was introduced during last year’s General Assembly session, but did not advance out of committee.

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
Related Content