Don’t miss Trey Mancini and Joey Rickard guest bartend at the first Brews & O’s event June 10th. Get your tickets today!

Delegates pass legislation creating study on guns used in crimes

Chase Cook
Contact Reporterccook@capgaznews.com

Maryland lawmakers approved legislation Saturday that would require the governor’s office to collect more detailed information about guns used in a crime.

The House of Delegates overwhelmingly supported Senate Bill 622 Saturday with a 138-0 vote. State Sen. Jill Carter, D-Baltimore, proposed the legislation. Del. Sandy Bartlett, D-Maryland City, crossfiled House Bill 774 as a counterpart to the senator’s legislation.

The study would increase available data on how guns are obtained, the location of origin and other details. Bartlett said the legislation would help the state better understand how criminals are getting guns, giving lawmakers more information to craft legislation to reduce gun violence.

Maryland has strict gun laws but the state isn’t free from gun violence, especially in Baltimore where there were 309 homicides in 2018.

“In some (jurisdictions) the guns are brought from outside the state,” Bartlett said.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Capital today »

As currently written the study requires a variety of data collection by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. It includes collecting information on the types of guns used in crimes, charges and convictions for illegal transfers, possession and illegal transportation.

The study also requires data on out-of-state guns and information on the 10 states “where the most crime firearms were recovered, including a comparison of the other states’ firearms laws,” according to the bill.

It also would collect information on the people using the guns, including age, residence, charging location and whether that person was allowed to have a gun. A sunset provision would end the study on Dec. 31, 2020.

House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena, special ordered the bill to review potential amendments to increase data collection. His amendments would expand the study to include data on the number of people who try to buy a gun but fail a background check.

Another amendment would survey individuals convicted of a firearm crime to determine where and how the weapon was purchased.

But Kipke didn’t offer the amendments when the bill went up for a vote, saying his questions on the legislation had been answered.

Lawmakers plan to meet on Monday for Sine Die, the final day of the 2019 session. Lawmakers will start in the morning and plow through legislation until midnight. Any bills not passed by midnight will have to refiled again next year.

The firearm study was one of dozens of gun focused legislation offered by lawmakers. One of the most controversial bills is one that would require background checks for all purchases of rifles and shotguns. Current law only requires a background check when buying from a licensed firearm dealer.

That bill, if passed, would require a private seller and buyer to visit a store that does background checks. That store would then do the background check on the purchaser before the sale could be finalized.

Lawmakers are still debating that legislation. It has been passed in the House — a 90 to 49 vote — and is awaiting final approval in the Senate.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
66°