BERLIN — Delegate Mike McDermott (R-38B) this week was named to a special House committee put together to analyze and craft legislation to address Maryland’s gun control laws.
McDermott was asked this week to serve on the committee that will consider the vast number of proposed gun control bills filed or expected to be filed in the General Assembly during the current session in the wake of the tragic school shootings in Connecticut last month. McDermott, a career law enforcement officer, believes he will bring a different level of expertise to the panel.
“I’m getting put on a committee to consider all of these gun control bills,” he said this week after the committee chairman poked his head in his office to request his presence on the panel while McDermott was talking to The Dispatch on a separate issue. “I guess I was asked because I naturally have a broad knowledge of the field. It also gives me the opportunity to show I can work across the aisles.”
McDermott was pleased to be asked to serve on the committee and hoped it might provide a forum for some of his own legislation he has proposed but has not yet introduced.
“It’s certainly an honor to be asked and I’m glad to serve,” he said. “Hopefully, it gives a voice to some of those other things I’ve been talking about. I’ve been pretty outspoken on some of these issues.”
McDermott has proposed public schools implement a “guardian” program; an authorization for school districts to issue less lethal taser-style weapons to certain school staffers; and an authorization for those who possess conceal-carry permits along with active or retired law enforcement officers who are certified to possess firearms to carry a concealed weapon on the campus of a public school.
McDermott’s proposed initiatives stop short of placing armed guards at the entrances to public schools. Instead, his proposed legislation is aimed at beefing up security at public schools and addressing the issue of mental illness and access to weapons.
McDermott has outlined some of the security initiatives already in use in some school districts across the country. For example, in some school districts there are certain staffers known only to the administration who carry concealed firearms in the schools. The trained individuals are called “guardians” and represent a vigilant line of defense for those they protect.