Baltimore narrowly passes mandatory minimums for illegal guns
By Chris Eger
Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis, and Mayor Catherine Pugh, both strong advocates for the city’s pending new law on illegal gun possession. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP)
The City Council on Monday gave approval to a watered-down measure originally designed to bring strict sentencing for some found with guns.
As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the Council voted 8-7 in favor of the ordinance without discussion.
The measure originally aimed to 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.
However, as modified in the wake of emotional response against the proposal in July, first-time offenders would not be eligible for the mandatory sentence except in cases where the illegal handgun they possessed was used in a crime. Also, the state’s attorney’s office could use discretion in charging individuals with violations of the city ordinance should it become law, skirting the issue entirely.
Even with the modifications, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis continued to advocate for the measure. “Violence reduction efforts must include consequences for illegal gun possession,” said Davis last week.
The effort comes as the