BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The City’s top office and top law enforcer are fighting to pull guns off Baltimore’s streets as a violent summer rages on. Even with a watered-down gun bill making it’s way toward law.
After talks about a new gun bill in Baltimore turned into a near brawl inside City Hall Tuesday, experts say the controversial bill won’t come close to curbing the City’s crime problem.
“There is no single issue, and there is no single way to reduce violence in this city,” says mayor Catherine Pugh.
The bill would slap on mandatory minimum sentences for criminals caught carrying illegal guns.
City Council members advanced a watered-down version of the bill that applies to second offenders in the process of committing a crime.
“One piece of legislation is not going to reduce crime in Baltimore,” says public safety expert Rob Weinhold.
Weinhold says it’s a step forward, but still not the magic fix.
“A new law, in and of itself, is not going to reduce the crime rate. It’s about tough enforcement, being tough in the courtroom and making sure that people are held accountable,” he says.
Wednesday, Pugh announced plans to bring in violence reduction consultants to work with BPD, hire 16 more parole and probation officers and spend $2 million in grant money on laptops for police patrol cars.
Potential funding for license plate readers and gunshot detection technology are still in the works.
“I have no greater priority in this city than reducing violence on our streets,” Pugh says.
The gun bill is now headed for the second round of voting.
Violence reduction consultants come to the City next month to work with police. They played a part in the falling crime rate in Los Angeles.