An idea emerged from convicted murderer, Trevor Brooks, who was in attendance at a previous Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program. Brooks thinks his idea could help to decrease Baltimore’s surging gun violence, by permitting people to turn in their guns to make bail. The kicker is most of the transaction could be completed through a mobile app.
Brooks said, if people have the choice of sitting in Central Booking and getting bail, “They’re going to turn their guns in as fast as they can.”
After taking up a resolution that would provide support to Brooks’ idea, the City Council will now take the measure into consideration. So far this year, Baltimore has recorded 118 homicides. Officials has recently partnered with the FBI to combat the surging gun violence in the city. The agency’s new bullet-tracing van, better known as a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) van, is capable of generating leads on gun-related crimes. The NIBIN van is already being utilized in Baltimore, bringing hope to a segment of the population during their time of need.
Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Brandon Scott, introduced the measure and said that GunBail, owned and operated by Brooks, could offer a new option.
Users would simply take a picture of the gun utilizing the app, send it to GunBail and in return receive a shipping box, along with a gunlock.
“We have to be thinking as creatively as possible to get guns off the streets,” Scott said. “I’m hopeful we’ll be able to be on the cutting edge of something.”
In the past, authorities have hosted events known as gun buybacks, offering gift cards and cash payments in exchange for weapons. However, these events typically only help recover the kinds of weapons that are not utilized in crimes. Also, the events are not successful in attracting individuals who are likely to commit a gun crime.
In order for the program to be a success or even get off the ground for that matter, it would require full support of the state’s attorney’s office, judiciary and Baltimore Police Department. T.J. Smith, Baltimore police spokesman, confirmed that police officials had recently met with Trevor Brooks and would take his idea into consideration.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’ spokeswoman, Melba Saunders, has also confirmed that prosecutors have met with Brooks.
Just this year, Ray Lewis, Ravens Linebacker, presented Brook’s idea to state lawmakers in Annapolis. If the City Council passes resolution a pilot test could be launched by this summer.
The courts would decide whether or not to release the inmate once the gun was surrendered to authorities. Law enforcement would agree not to investigate the gun to see if it was utilized in other crimes, which would deny them some investigative leads.