A new gun control bill is set to be introduced next month in the Maryland General Assembly. This bill sets out to send people carrying loaded unpermitted guns to jail for at least one year. There are far too many people in Baltimore carrying illegal guns that end up being used to kill others. Of the record number of 344 homicides last year, 90% were the result of gun violence. On top of that, 900 people were wounded in a gun-related incident. Gun violence as a whole in Baltimore jumped 75% compared to the previous year.
This approach to levy harsher penalties is certainly a change from previous attempts to combat gun violence. Instead of restricting firearm sales, as was previously tried, offenders would face at least one year for possessing a loaded illegal gun. Current laws treat this crime like a first-time DUI in Maryland, which means minimal consequences. Just like first-time DUI offenders are not deterred much from driving drunk again, gun offenders are not deterred by current laws to not possess illegal weapons.
With the threat of mandatory minimum of one year in jail for this crime, it is likely that it will have an effect on gun violence. While many lawmakers support the bill, some oppose it because they do not think it will change anything. As one lawmaker put it, this change in penalty is targeted at the people who break the law. Much of the violence occurring throughout Baltimore can be attributed to people carrying unregistered weapons. For those who opposing this bill because they believe the penalty is too harsh, they need to consider that it will not affect the law abiding gun-owning citizens who are involved in the gun violence. This bill is targeted at one of the main causes of the gun violence throughout the city.
If you have been charged with possessing an illegal firearm in Baltimore, call us today to speak to one our experienced Maryland criminal defense attorneys or if you would like more information please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Baltimore or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Maryland-Criminal-Defense/