Baltimore to seek minimum 1 year sentencing for illegal handguns
By Chris Eger
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