BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Chaos erupted Tuesday at a Baltimore City Hall hearing for a proposed mandatory one-year sentence for possession of an illegal handgun.

It took just minutes for rising tensions to overflow.

Council members had issued several warnings to unruly attendees, but police were called to move in as activists clashed with council members, and people pushed back.

It ended with two arrests and a lot of upset people.

The Baltimore Police Department says a 29-year-old and a 27-year-old were arrested and will face charges.

At least one person was injured as police pulled people from the room, and an ambulance was called to the scene. Police say the 27-year-old who was arrested complained of chest pains after being arrested. He has been transported to a local hospital for treatment.

After all of Tuesday’s events, council members voted through an amended gun bill by a 5-2 vote, moving it to the next round.

City officials say they’re trying to end the slow motion massacre on the streets of Baltimore by putting a gun law back on the books that says those found guilty of carrying an illegal gun will be given a mandatory year-long sentence.

“To say this is going to make a difference, I hope so,” says councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. “I hope it will, because we have the votes here.”

Council member Brandon Scott, of the 2nd district, says he’s against the bill in any form.

“The amendments make the bill easier to stomach, it still doesn’t change the fact that I disagree with the bill in its entirety and its principles of mandatory minimums,” he says.

One of the staunchest supporters of the bill says he’s not a fan of the amendments, but he was willing to compromise in order to get closer to the goal.

“I have dozens and dozens of constituents who have reached out about this, and they are frankly sick and tired of people illegally carrying guns on the street and wreaking havoc on out communities,” says Eric Costello of the 11th district.

Under the amended version of the bill, a mandatory minimum sentence would only apply to second offenses, except for first time offenders whose gun violation was committed along with another crime.

The mayor did not specifically comment on Tuesday’s amendments, but she still strongly supports the bill she hopes will get illegal guns off Baltimore streets.

“Over 600 shootings in less than a year in our city and something has to give,” Catherine Pugh says. “And so we are trying to protect the citizens of our city and make sure that we curb the violence in our city.”

The city council will re-visit the bill in about three weeks.

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Comments (93)
  1. This article could at least identify the activists’ cause so we could understand what they were protesting.

    1. Bart Drennon says:

      Sorry, that would require an act of journalism.

    2. We can assume they were Black Lives Matter -types who, as leftists, oppose laws which will disproportionately “target” and imprison blacks.

      Their sympathies effectively lie with criminals, whom they view as victims of a racist society. And even if the people pushing the proposed law are black *themselves* — in the name of protecting still *other* blacks.

    3. Breakdown:

      The reason people/minorities were p*ssed? B/C mainly minorities are the owners of illegal handguns (guns sold out of the back of a van w/ the serial number removed) and those guns end up at crime scenes way too often.

      So – city council decides to make a blanket statement that penalizes “anyone” for possession of illegal/stolen handguns – but knows good and well that those that will be affected the most are those groups that own the most stolen/illegal guns in Baltimore.

      Blacks. And this gives Baltimore one more case against locking more up for longer time frames.

    4. The radical Black Marxists who run the political leadership of Baltimore created the law, and the
      radical Black Marxists who run the gangs of Baltimore are mad because it will put more of them in prison (since all of them are banned offenders who can’t buy guns legally anyway), and they feel they’re being Uncle Tommed by their black leaders.

      Can’t all of them just go drown themselves in the Chesapeake Bay and return Baltimore to whoever owned it before all the black people moved in and turned it into Detroit?

  2. Jack Hagan says:

    This is such typical propaganda. Agree with the poster below. What’s the story? Damn. It’s like trying to interpret ancient Sanskrit.

    1. Tom Menino says:

      Just another day in Mogadishu.

  3. Tom Zahay says:

    What is an illegal handgun?

    1. One that snuck across the border to do killing that reglar guns wouldn’t do. Some may have had a fastNfurious stamp to expedite their travels.

  4. Let’s get two things straight.

    1. Banning guns does not reduce crime. Crime goes UP when the law abiding citizen is disarmed.

    2. The Second amendment is not about hunting and it’s not about target shooting. It’s about giving the government good reason to leave the citizen alone.

    Regardless, gun grabs are coming if the clown in office has his way.

    Dems are the biggest threat to the American way of life…They hate Americans, the Constitution, and free market capitalism. Obama destroyed our economy with measures like the ACA and immigration amnesty. The “Affordable” Care Act has been nothing short of a disaster. My health insurance bill is up to $450/month. (Compare this to my $25/month auto insurance from Insurance Panda or my $10/month renters insurance… both private enterprise!) Keep your hands off us!

    The rights to a free press, free speech, assembly, and religion are extremely important but none of them matters very much if you can’t defend your own life against aggression. Every person should have the right to bear arms. Leave your hands off my guns!

    1. You did read the article where this does not affect law abiding citizens, right? It does not affect assembly, speech, religion or anything else in your post. From your post, are you in support of penalizing people for breaking the law with ILLEGAL handguns?

      1. Try getting a legal carry permit in Baltimore. That is the reak problem, not enough legal carriers. Ever city with highly restrictive gun laws has high crime rates, particularly murder.

      2. Tyler Cruse says:

        Wrong, such laws are bad for every citizen that is law abiding.
        First, cities should not be allowed to pass any “gun” law. It is very difficult today for a legally armed citizen to travel without accidently breaking some gun law, with every state and some cities having very different laws. So, in effect you are being denied a basic civil right protected by our Bill of Rights.
        Second, an armed civilian stops over 2 million violent crimes every year, so if we want our cities to be saver we want more not fewer armed law abiding citizens.
        Enforce the laws that already exist against such things as murder, rape, assault and robbery.

  5. Tim Bones says:

    Gun laws and similar laws with criminal sentences for violations should be the same in all parts of a state. Baltimore having this harsh law will find out it traps otherwise innocent MD residents passing through and also will fill its city jails with a lot of its own residents who are good people who got a gun because they live or work in bad parts of the city. The city has a problem with bad people, drugs and a failure to police or treat drug offenders, Guns on the street are a symptom, not the cause.

    1. Wait a minute, I’m as much a gun supporter as anyone, but I don’t see a problem with this law as it’s stated in the article. Possession of an illegal firearm should result in prison time! What’s an ‘illegal firearm’, it’s a stolen gun, it’s a gun you purchased illegally, it’s a gun in the hands of someone who can not legally own it!
      The only way to stop “gun violence” is to throw the criminals in prison…not lock up the guns of innocent citizens! So I thinks it makes sense, it’s something that all cities should do, stop passing gun laws that criminals ignore, and start locking up the criminals……!

      1. Is an illegal gun also your great-grand-pappy’s rusty pistol that was handed down through the family and never registered? I imagine than many otherwise law-abiding gunowners have something like this in their collection and will not be aware of the legal danger they could be in.

  6. Like it has worked so well in Chicago. Einstein would classify these people as insane.

  7. What a train-wreck of Journalistic ineptness…

  8. How can a gun be illegal. Did it sneak across the boarder?

  9. Looks like a bunch of innocent people being assaulted by a wild gang called the police.

  10. a scene from The Planet of Apes

  11. Mike Herman says:

    So libs want to target guns and protect illegals. What about an illegal carrying a gun? Wouldn’t that put their police in an infinite loop?

  12. Jimmy Zick says:

    This is one poorly written story. Kimberly, you should try another line of work. The amendments are not clearly stated, I assume the addition of illegal was the amendment. Baltimore’s definition of an illegal gun is not listed. I could have gotten all the same information from “yo people fightin at city hall”.

  13. What is it about “shall not be infringed” do these cretins not understand? Any permit or local law is an infringement. Simple as that. Please find and READ the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  14. Clegg Jensen says:

    Demorats destroy everything they touch. Slash and burn everywhere they go. Suck it dry and then move to the next blood source.

    1. And the morons keep electing them over and over and over and over…..

  15. This was a poorly written article and is now typical of “MSM,” It is yet an embarrassing and shameful example of how far they have descended.

    Twenty Five states allow anyone to buy a gun, strap it on and walk down the street with no permit of any kind. Dictatorial liberals say it is crazy, but 80 percent of US murders are committed in the other half of the country. Liberals aren’t just wrong, they are killing people.

    Look to the most dysfunctional and murderous cities in America and you will find decades of Democratic Party ownership, er, I mean control. Baltimore is a prime example.

  16. When will these idiot politicians get it? It’s not the guns; it’s the culture.

  17. Change it to “Legal” handgun owners, and Democrats would love it.

  18. They will pass laws as they want, and if people get upset about it they will get arrested. Plain and simple. America is United only in taking your hard earned moneys! While the Corporation pays no taxes and do as they please. People in America are in big trouble and it is all because of these fatheads behind benches.

  19. Jeffrey Gee says:

    What constitutes an illegal gun, having one in general? Psst they are lucky the citizens didn’t pull them out into the street and hang them for being traitors to our country/Bill of Rights!

  20. David Snyder says:

    Further violations of the 2nd amendment will only make the problem worse. Go in the opposite direction and make it legal to carry. If it is believed that anyone you come into contact with might have a gun, you think twice about using yours.

  21. Baltimorons, no doubt they’ll riot and burn the city down and the Mayor will hand out lollipops to the overgrown children.

    1. You mean hand out bananas to the overgrown monkeys.

  22. Ric Carter says:

    Makes sense to me. ENFORCE the laws on the books, this already being one of them. I believe the Federal penalty is a minimum five year sentence for illegal use of a gun, but they don’t do it. Plea bargains keep criminals on the streets, to offend again. If they only get a slap on the wrist, there is no reason for them to change their ways. A year off the street may get their attention.

  23. What Baltimore needs is black control. The place is overrun with high-capacity assault blacks.

  24. Robertj Dow says:

    The HBO show titled ” The Wire” showed Baltimore in it’s true colors. Prophesy becomes truth.

  25. John Dillon says:

    You’re adding a law to the books for people who don’t follow the law in the first place? Good plan. Should work amazingly.

  26. When they have a problem with crime, the first thing the stinking progressive liberal socialist democrats always try to do is ban guns. Thats like saying if your dog has fleas you kill the dog. The problem of crime in your city is directly proportional to the number of worthless BLACKS you have there. Jezzz! you people are to stupid to breath much less govern!

  27. Yes, they should severely punish those carrying guns illegally, it’s hard to believe there is even any debate on that. But how about let lawful citizens arm themselves. Criminals are usually cowards who prey on the weak and vulnerable. Criminals are emboldened when they know citizens are unarmed. If there was a chance the would be victim was armed and able to defend themselves most criminals would think twice.

  28. We don’t have feral black people in Idaho, nor many liberals, so “gun violence” isn’t even an issue…everyone carries and crime is ‘nil.

  29. CBS could you auto-refresh this page more often? Maybe once every 30 seconds should do it.

    I need more “refresh” !

    1. Bart Drennon says:

      Okay. No problem. Anything else?

      – Les Moonves

  30. Tom Kelly says:

    The penalties for shooting someone are already tougher than a one year sentence, and those don’t seem to stop people from doing it.

  31. LOL! The local Smoke-in-Charge doesn’t like that idea!

    B-More is killing itself and a rep is worrying about re-election.

  32. If you want to reduce the number of illegal guns on the street, increase the number of honest citizens carrying legal guns. Problem solved. I find it encouraging the black women are increasingly getting legal handguns to protect themselves and their loved ones. Black men need to follow suit.

    The only thing that has been shown to reduce violence wherever it has been tried is to relax gun laws so that honest people can legally carry to protect themselves and their loved ones.


    Oh yes…


  34. So what qualifies as an illegal handgun?

  35. The law will only hit the non-criminal. Can’t get a permit to carry, but you feel safer with a gun. Who is the one to get arrested
    Batts was an idiot and he agreed with laws like this. That is how you get these laws.

  36. Samuel Green says:

    Lets just take a step back and look at this situation.

    Baltimore, a state that has an IDIOT that pretends to be a mayor. Last year when the Mayor of Baltimore gave the police an ultimatum: LET THE CITY RIOT AND BURN via protests.

    The police watched as carjackings and other violent crimes were committed and they were powerless to intervene.

    At times like this and when a person calls 9-1-1 for help, and the first responders are ORDERED not to help. You have a colossal problem. President Obama congratulated Mayor Stephanie on this, that doesn’t mean much coming from an underhanded and deceptive President (ex)

    And they want to further defy the 2nd amendment to not allow law abiding citizens the constitutional right to protect themselves……..Brilliant. It’s a fact that tough gun laws do NOTHING to inhibit crime. It just makes it easier for the armed criminals to create victims when the victim is helpless and unable to self protect

    As a retired US soldier, it saddens me to see the freedoms I was willing to give me life for, are being trampled by Baltimore officials, who all have state funded armed bodyguards and troopers protecting them, unfortunately the rest of us don’t.

    The officials in Baltimore that voted for this ridiculous bill don’t care about their constituents. When you have a Mayor that allows violent rioting and not allow citizens to defend themselves, you have a serious problem.

    The problem is rectified by sending Mayor Stephanie packing as well as every member of the council that voted yes on this.

  37. When it is proven not to work (100% it changes nothing they say it will), incarcerate the people who passed it. All this law does is target the poor and criminalize gun ownership.

  38. Paul Roberts says:

    What is their definition of “an illegal handgun?” Is that a gun that is not registered with the police?, or a gun that was used to commit a crime? What is the definition? DO NOT get rid of guns! Get rid of the people using the guns to commit a crime! Remember Guns also protect the innocent. The gun never kills anyone but the fool behind the gun is the killer.

  39. positron1352 says:

    Strict gun laws don’t work in Chicago. Why will they work in Baltimore?

  40. Paul Trott says:

    Recipe for failure, blame the gun. Has failed every place it has been tried, every time it is tried. But it is all they are willing to dare talk about.

  41. there aren’t enough jails for all the criminals now. instead, the city council should allow mandatory issue concealed carry for law biding citizens . let honest people take their city back.

  42. Peter York says:

    oh, he had constituents who ‘reached out.’ when I hear somebody using such weasel talk, I want to reach out, and choke him or her.

  43. The People should understand that the next step is Jury Nullification. This is reasonable if there are also laws not allowing People to legally exercise their 2A right thereby forcing them to carry illegally. If you are having your basic civil right infringed upon, and are then subjected to draconian minimum sentencing laws for exercising your right then the solution is to Nullify.

  44. Tom Corcoran says:

    Send the bad boys to Federal facilities. Project Exile is successful

    Project Exile is a federal program started in Richmond, Virginia in 1997. Project Exile shifted the prosecution of illegal technical gun possession offenses to federal court, where they carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, rather than in state court. Note that federal law (18 U.S.C. sec. 922 & 924) provides for a penalty of ten years in federal prison for being a “prohibited person”, i.e., a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as well as for falsifying information in order to obtain one, or furnishing a gun to a convicted felon.
    The program has since been copied by several other cities, sometimes under other names. In Atlanta, for example, the program was known as FACE 5 (Firearms in Atlanta Can Equal 5 years in federal prison). While many have discontinued or modified their programs, Project Exile is still in effect in Rochester, NY.[1]

  45. As I understand this, it’s the Amended Bill that passed. Which puts an Offender in Jail for up to a year for his Second Offense of carrying an “Illegal Gun”.
    But a question: If the jail time is only ‘up to a year’, doesn’t that mean it’s a Misdemeanor Conviction and NOT a Felony? In normal places misdemeanors are 12 Mo’s & Less (365 days) and Felonies are 12 Mo’s and more (366 days and up). But this being Baltimore who knows. And this poorly written article DOESN’T HELP!!

    ps: What if it’s an Illegal Alien who gets busted a 2nd time? Being a sanctuary city, does Baltimore just put the Gun in Jail for a year and let the Illegal Alien go free? 🙂

  46. Don’t fall into the trap of believing this has anything to do with the 2nd Amendment as normal, law-abiding white people exercise it.

    The law is written by inner city black Democrat politicians (who despise white people) to target career gangsters who carry unlicensed stolen handguns as a tool of their criminal trade. It embarrassed them in front of Hillary Clinton when they had to walk around the corpses piled on the sidewalks.

    The “people” protesting here are OTHER inner city black Democrats (who also despise white people), except these ones are gang members instead of politicians. They’re not angry about the infringement of their 2nd Amendment rights (which don’t apply to illegal guns anyway), they’re mad because these Uncle Tom brothas is fixin’ to sell them out to the white po-po!

    I truly don’t care which of them wins, they’re both cancer in human form. The only thing that could save Baltimore at this point is if sickle cell became as lethal as smallpox overnight.

  47. Baltimore Liberal Logic:
    Black’s Riot
    Destroying Black Businesses
    After Black Guy Dies in Police Custody
    With 3 Black Police Officers
    In A 43% Black Police Department
    With a Black Chief of Police
    Under A Black Female Mayor
    With A Black Female State Attorney
    In A City Ruled By Democrats for Over 50 Years
    With the First Black Female US Attorney General
    Appointed By The First Black President
    And they all BLAME RACISM

  48. Seems to me as someone who lives out west the problem is lack of jobs, parenting and the education system. Guns are just part of the problem, no stop and frisk in Baltimore? Maybe MD should have some type of law that allows lawful citizens to own firearms and apply for a concealed weapons permit.

  49. Sharp Shtik says:

    To control crime you must control Democrats since they commit nearly all crime. Laws seek to control Democrats/criminals to no avail because Democrats have no respect for laws or the rights of their victims, which is why Democrats encourage fellow foreign criminals to invade in violation of laws and why Democrats torture (e.g. dismember) and execute their own unborn because they selfishly think their convenience is more important than their unborn’s right to life. Crime will decrease when there are fewer Democrats (i.e. people with the mentalities of terrible children).

  50. Why don’t they pass a law making it illegal to shoot someone? That’d do the trick.

  51. irishsavant says:

    Blacks causing mayhem. What next?

  52. Banning spoons will end obesity, too.

  53. As for the mayor and council, you can’t cure stupid. Maybe with smarter voting.

  54. Baltimore is beyond help. Way beyond help. Thanks DimocRATS.

  55. More gun control… because we all know that criminals obey laws.

  56. Elena George says:

    Oh, that’s going to scare the thugs into not packing.

  57. According to the second amendment, if the gun isn’t stolen, it isn’t illegal. Gun registration is not constitutional.

  58. Tom Palermo says:

    There is no such thing as an “illegal handgun”. Any law claiming to make handguns, or any guns “illegal”, is null and void since it violates our right, guaranteed by the Constitution. Those official that enact or enact or support such a law, are guilty of treason, AND by their act, have become enemies of our Constitutional Republic! They do so at their own risk!