‘Weakened’ Baltimore Gun Bill Still a Gross Infringement on Right to Bear Arms
“The Baltimore City Council will hold a final vote Monday night on weakened legislation originally designed to impose a mandatory one-year jail sentence on people who illegally carry guns,” The Baltimore Sun reports. “The legislation had become the subject of heated debate in a year when Baltimore faces [sic] a surging homicide rate … But the council voted to gut the bill — making the legislation little different from existing state law except for adding a $1,000 fine.”
It would help if we could see the bill for ourselves, rather than just assume the media is going to tell us everything we need to know. Especially since this “straight news” story can scarcely keep itself from ruing what might have been, and The Sun has not exactly established a reputation for itself over the years as an impartial observer.
To do that, we need to go the Baltimore City Council website and look up the agenda for tonight’s meeting. As an aside, especially noting the truism that “All politics is local,” I’ve long advocated for staying on top of not just what federal and state reps are up to, but not to lose sight of what’s happening on the home front. I’ve even chronicled how doing so can result in “crusading” politicians getting schooled in constituent pushback.
We can start with the council calendar, and as another aside, they do a lot better job than a lot of cities at keeping theirs not only current, but also forward-reaching. Hey, fair is fair, and what they do right ought to be acknowledged.
That in turn lets us scroll down to today’s date and click on the link to download the agenda. That in turn brings up:
For the purpose of prohibiting the wearing, carrying, or knowingly transporting of handguns near certain places of public assembly; creating certain exceptions; defining a certain term; establishing a certain mandatory penalty; setting a special effective date; and generally relating to handguns.
Sponsors: City Council President (Administration), President Young, Eric T. Costello, Sharon Green Middleton, Edward Reisinger, Robert Stokes, Sr.
And that link in turn allows us to access a law department review and successive readings of the bill, as well as all the legislative contortions the thing has been put through to date.
The thing is, once a citizen has familiarized himself with what’s being proposed, don’t expect to be allowed to speak out against it. It gets confusing here, because this earlier report says the bill “would toughen sentences on gun possession in Baltimore City.”
And it gets revealing when we factor in testimony by Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis:
Here’s the bottom line: The stuff is already essentially covered by state law, which is hardly shy about establishing all kinds of so-called “gun-free zones” that those causing all the problems in the first place will not obey. That leaves the “law-abiding,” who unless they’re connected, have to jump through all kinds of impossible hoops to “qualify” for a carry “permit” in “may issue” (more likely “may not”) Maryland.
Meanwhile, an anti-gun Democrat legislator’s grandson “was the third man killed in Baltimore since Friday night in a string of seven shootings that also hurt five other people. Baltimore’s per capita murder rate has been approaching record levels this year. So far, 238 people have been killed in the city, 207 of them have been killed by gun fire.”
And as for the police, the “Only Ones” the gun-grabbers want to be armed?
All but one member of the Baltimore Police Department’s “gun trace task force — an elite unit that raided homes throughout the city searching for firearms in an effort to quell historic rates of violence [have] been indicted on federal racketeering charges.”
Is it any surprise oath-breaker Commissioner Davis “called that approach a key element of his plan to reduce the years-long surge in homicides in the city”?
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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”