Tags: maryland | gun laws | baltimore | shootings

Maryland Gun Laws and Their Impact on Baltimore

By    |   Monday, 17 Nov 2014 03:46 PM

When the Maryland General Assembly passed one of the strictest gun laws in the nation in 2013, gun control advocates made sweeping statements about how the legislation would prevent gun violence, reduce the criminal element and save lives. Gun advocates, who were against the Firearm Safety Act, thought that the Maryland gun law infringed on Second Amendment rights. Of concern were aspects of the law that banned 45 different assault weapons, put a capacity limit on gun magazines and significantly increased the licensing requirements for handgun purchasers including mandatory fingerprinting.

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Although the Firearm Safety Act was challenged, a U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore upheld the law. Judge Catherine Blake concluded that the law protected public safety without compromising the right of "law abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home."

Baltimore, Maryland, has long been considered one of the most violent cities in America despite having very strict gun laws. The high number of homicides in Baltimore are largely attributed to a culture of gang and drug-related violence.

In 2012 alone there were 217 homicides in Baltimore. As reported by The Baltimore Sun, the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2013 identified the city as having the "fifth-highest murder rate in the country."

To date in 2014, there have been 191 homicides in Baltimore, the majority caused by shootings.

Crime rates are not yet fully compiled for 2014 and the impact of recently strengthened Maryland gun laws on current crime is uncertain. However, here are some recent quotes about the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 and crime in Baltimore:

"This year in Baltimore, both murders and shootings are down compared to the same time last year, according to the latest police statistics." — Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

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"The ban on assault weapons has decreased gun violence in Baltimore not one iota. That's because few, if any, of the shootings were done with assault weapons." — Gregory Kane, Washington Examiner

"The fingerprinting requirement affected only law-abiding citizens that want to buy firearms. It had no impact on Baltimore's criminal element at all." — Gregory Kane, Washington Examiner

"A recent report shows that Baltimore is one of the few U.S. cities to rank in a list of the worst cities in the world for violence." — CBS DC

"Statewide in Maryland, gun deaths have gone down 23 percent in the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period last year. Surely, the Baltimore City Police Department’s new policing policies contributed to this decline in gun deaths. But, we at Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence also believe that the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 played an important part in this progress, particularly its key provision requiring prospective handgun purchasers to first obtain a fingerprint-based license to purchase from the state police." —Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws of your state and destination before travel.

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When the Maryland General Assembly passed one of the strictest gun laws in the nation in 2013, gun control advocates made sweeping statements about how the legislation would prevent gun violence, reduce the criminal element and save lives.
maryland, gun laws, baltimore, shootings
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2014-46-17
Monday, 17 Nov 2014 03:46 PM
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