In an effort to curb the surging gun crimes, Baltimore leaders put forth a plan to change city law, requiring a mandatory one-year sentence for illegal gun possession, which would cover most of the city. The law would apply to anyone with an illegal gun in their possession, within 100 yards of a church, park, school or public building.
Under the proposed legislation, any part of the mandatory sentence could not be suspended. People with such a conviction would also be prevented from receiving parole.
Mayor Catherine Pugh supports the idea of doing more to strict illegal guns. She recognized the number of churches and schools in the city. With a public building on “nearly every corner in the city” and it would actually be good for this bill, she said.
Kevin Davis, Baltimore police commissioner, praised the legislation, saying it was a much-needed change that could impact the city’s soaring violence.
Since the start of 2016, over 60 percent of people with gun convictions in Baltimore have over half of their sentences suspended, Davis said. The city does not have an issue with legal gun owners, the problem lies with illegal gun offenders who are not afraid of being caught committing violent crimes, he said.