Maryland Democrat to bring widow of Capital Gazette shooting victim to State of the Union

Maryland Democrat to bring widow of Capital Gazette shooting victim to State of the Union
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The widow of one of the five Capital Gazette journalists killed in the 2018 newsroom shooting will attend the State of the Union address with Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.).

Gun reform activist Andrea Chamblee, whose husband, John McNamara, died in the mass shooting, will be Van Hollen's guest when Trump gives his speech in the House chamber on Tuesday night.

McNamara was killed on June 28, 2018, alongside colleagues Rebecca Smith, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winter and Gerald Fischman.


"Their murders broke the hearts of their friends and loved ones, the Annapolis community, and people across our state," Van Hollen said in a statement Monday. "Together, we have worked to honor their memories and do their lives justice. But since their murders, the Senate has yet to take meaningful action to address gun violence."

Van Hollen added that he looks forward to working with Chamblee to highlight “the urgency of this issue.”

“Inaction is complicity,” he said.


Chamblee said she grieves for her husband and his murdered colleagues every day.

“I want their story to inspire our legislators to pass the legislation that's pending and to prevent gun violence now,” she said in Monday's announcement, noting that the State of the Union falls during Gun Violence Survivors Week.

Jarrod Ramos pleaded guilty in October to the Capital Gazette shooting, though his attorneys argue he should not be held criminally responsible because of mental illness. A judge is scheduled to determine whether Ramos is criminally responsible during a March trial, according to The Associated Press.

In June, Van Hollen introduced the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act, a measure that would incentivize state and local environments to enact laws requiring individuals to obtain a license to purchase a handgun.