Baltimore to seek minimum 1 year sentencing for illegal handguns

Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis, and Mayor Catherine Pugh. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP)

Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis, and Mayor Catherine Pugh. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP)

Mayor Catherine Pugh and city leaders want to establish a mandatory minimum sentence for those found with handguns near Baltimore schools, parks and other public buildings.

A city ordinance written by Pugh’s office is expected to be introduced to the City Council next week that would mandate a one-year sentence without parole or probation for some found with handguns in Baltimore, WMAR reported. The move already has the support of some lawmakers on the all-Democrat Council.

“We need to do something and this is a great step in the right direction,” Councilman Eric Costello said. “Public safety is the number one priority in the city right now.”

The language of the measure would criminalize the carry or transport of a handgun, either openly or concealed, within 100 yards of a public building, park, church, school, or “other place of public assembly” with a mandatory penalty of one-year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Exemptions to the misdemeanor would default to state law, which allows for carrying by police, military, those with a carry permit, or those transporting a firearm for a reason such as to a gun range, gunsmith, hunting or shooting sports event.

The effort comes as the city is suffering from a record high murder rate — with over 180 killed so far this year — a figure reportedly higher than larger urban centers such as New York and Philadelphia and more than twice as many as Chicago.

Pugh has taken to local media this week speaking to her administration’s “violence reduction strategy” that aims at tackling crime in conjunction with community engagement while working with state and federal law enforcement for additional resources. Baltimore was chosen in May for the nationwide debut of a mobile gun tracing vehicle rolled out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which was termed a “game changer” in investigating gun crime.

Gov. Larry Hogan, R, met with Pugh this week to talk about the city’s crime issue, reportedly exploring options to include expanding state police patrols and legislation to make it a felony to carry illegal guns in Baltimore.

Latest Reviews

  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More
  • First Look: Hornady 6mm ARC

    Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Kilo 3000 BDX Binos

    Featuring the company's BDX technology, the Kilo 3000 sits at the tops of Sig Sauer’s optics line bringing binoculars and laser rangefinders into one unit. 

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-3i CDS-ZL

    The new-for-2020, VX-3i CDS-ZL riflescope, is an American-made optic that can be customized for your exact specifications, is easy to use and is backed with a Lifetime Guarantee.

    Read More

Loading