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The Problem With Gun Control in Maryland

| August 15, 2021, 08:00 AM

The problem with weapon control seems to be pandemic in the United States of America. However, this issue proves to be a bigger case in the state. Despite being the place with one of the toughest weapon laws, it has one of the highest crime rates.

There are just so many weapons per person. Let’s examine some issues and key stats revolving around the weapon rules in Maryland. Perhaps, it will give us an insight into the problems and possible solutions associated with the Free State’s weapon crisis.

Key Facts and Statistics on Weapon Crimes in the State

Baltimore City has witnessed more than 300 homicides annually since 2015. This is one of its biggest problems. In 2019, the number went close to 350. That year, an average of two people per day died due to firearms in MD.

That makes a total of over 700 deaths. 62% of those deaths were as a result of homicides. Baltimore City leads in terms of the homicide rates. Dorchester County and Cecil County follow behind closely. And, Anne Arundel County is also another hotspot.

Young black males have a greater firearm homicide rate compared to other racial groups. From 2010 to 2019, the firearm homicide rate rose.

One notable case in 2020 in Baltimore City is that of Dandre Woods-Bethel who told his wife and kid to head to the basement. The 24-year-old stepped outside his home and shot two women outside. There was no reason to do it. He just opened fire at them. Both women died.

Then he proceeded to call 911 to come and arrest him. The police charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.

Another more recent case is one that involved a 14-year old in Northwest Baltimore. Damonyae Malone murdered Jaileel Jones, a 15-year old on March 4, 2021. Jaileel Jones died two days after the incident. Baltimore police charged Damonyae Malone with assault offenses, first and second-degree murder. Reports claim that the murder was a result of an argument.

Let’s also not forget how David Collins was stabbed to death in 2019 in a Baltimore nightclub. These are only two examples of the many crimes that occur every day.

A Brief of the Weapon Constitution in MD

The state has gun safety rules different from that of other states in the US. These rules can overlap with federal law. We will run through some key regulations that you should know concerning the possession and purchase of firearms.

The state has stringent consequences for people who break weapon regulations. This ranges from fines to long jail terms.

In the state, you cannot own or openly carry a handgun without a permit. You could be charged with illegal gun ownership if you do so. To be eligible to get the permit, you must be an adult who has not been convicted of a violent crime.

A gun owner shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance. You will also need to go through a firearms training course.

The sale, possession, and purchase of assault weapons and short-barreled rifles are prohibited. If you are caught with a short-barreled rifle, you will incur a $5,000 fine and not less than 5 years of imprisonment.

The age limit to become a weapon owner in Maryland’s counties is 21 years.  If you have been convicted of a felony, you cannot purchase rifles and other weapons.

The Arc of Central Maryland

Proposed Solutions

Maryland legislators are already considering measures to take concerning the challenge at hand. They want to set up more serious sentences for gun-related violence. These lawmakers want people with multiple violent offenses to get longer jail terms. They feel that that will break the loop between weapon dealers and other criminals. Their bill also proposed that released inmates will undergo a re-entry orientation program. It remains to be seen if the General Assembly can pass these new laws for Governor Hogan’s signature; or alternately, with a veto-proof majority.

They also proposed the banning of the production, possession, and sale of ghost guns. This refers to homemade weapons. They are dangerous because they are untraceable. Dr. Cassandra Crifisi from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of public health spoke on the issue.

The researcher pointed out that people buy rifles and automatic weapons to get protection and safety. Background checks also show that this is the main goal of most Americans.

She also noted how Maryland’s gun violence is higher compared to other states. Her proposed solution is to establish a control legislation measure that ensures that people who shouldn’t have weapons don’t get them.

Another rational reason we should consider is the severity of the Free State’s gun laws. In places with weaker weapon regulations, criminals are more likely to destroy or get rid of their guns after a crime. That is not the case in Maryland, particularly in Baltimore. It is harder to get a new weapon. Therefore, criminals tend to reuse their weapons over and over again.

Weapon-related crimes exist in the entirety of America, not only in the Old Line State. Police and law enforcement agents are trying their best to curb the situation.

There is no all-encompassing way to tackle gun-related crime. With these continuous efforts, it is hopeful that we will see sustainable results in the long run.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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