BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will be taking his fight to reduce gun violence all the way to lawmakers in Annapolis.
Last year was a record setting year for homicides in Baltimore. Now, Commissioner Davis is making some moves to stop the deadly trend.
Davis wants to make it a felony for anyone caught carrying a handgun illegally.
“The bad guys in Baltimore, bad guys in Maryland know it’s a misdemeanor and there’s no consequence associated with illegally wearing, carrying or transporting a firearm,” said Baltimore top cop.
The commissioner has plenty of support from anti-gun violence groups.
“Make sure people know that if they illegally carry a gun, they’re going to be in trouble,” said Vincent DeMarco, board chair with Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.
Even to gun shop owners who usually resent stricter gun laws, Frank Loane, who owns Pasadena Pawn and Gun says, “It’s a good thing and they ought to give them a longer sentence.”
So far, the number of shootings in 2016 has outpaced the statistics for the same time last year.
At least 786 people have been shot in Baltimore, five more than the same time last year.
But the number of fatal shootings are slightly down–259–compared to 280 at the same time in 2015.
The commissioner believes many of the culprits are repeat offenders, but there’s at least one senator who has doubts about the change.
Baltimore County’s Robert A. Zirkin told our media partner, The Baltimore Sun that “justice is individualized,” and “where two years might make sense in one case, it won’t make sense in another.”
But police are prepared to move forward.
“We’ve seen it way too many times and it’s time to put the right people away in jail,” said T.J. Smith, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department.
The commissioner firmly believes if illegal possessing a handgun is a felony crime will fall.
Davis says he will lobby in Annapolis to make this change. The session starts in January.