Baltimore lawmakers divided over mandatory minimums for illegal guns
By Chris Eger
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and some city leaders are backing a measure to establish a mandatory minimum sentence for those found with handguns near Baltimore schools, parks and other public buildings, but are getting some push back. (Photo: mayor.baltimorecity.gov)
Mayor Catherine Pugh and about half the Baltimore City Council are in favor of a strict one-year sentence for those found with guns, but the other half may be a harder sell.
The proposed ordinance written by Pugh’s office would mandate a minimum sentence without parole or probation for some found with handguns near Baltimore schools, parks and other public buildings. However, as reported by the Baltimore Sun, Monday’s Council meeting found only seven of the 15 members support the idea and at least four vocally oppose it.
“This is not something that’s innovative,” said Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, speaking against the move.
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