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Maryland already has laws against gun violence | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore Police and crime scene investigators mark the scene were two teenagers were injured in a shooting near Benjamin Franklin High School in Brooklyn. Jan. 6, 2023. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun).

A recent letter condemns the Maryland General Assembly for not addressing illegal handguns and repeat violent offenders (”Assault weapons aren’t the problem,” Jan. 18). It is not clear what the letter writer meant.

There are laws on the books related to both these matters, and they are fairly tough. The problem appears to be enforcement, which entails arrest and successful prosecution of the right person. The penalties required by existing laws can only be imposed after offenders have been convicted.

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To arrest and convict the right person often requires detective work as well as a well-constructed case that will convince a jury. These are the province of police and prosecutors, not the legislature. They need to be done well, as prosecution of the wrong person is a waste of resources and leaves an unknown criminal at large while doing gross injustice to the accused and damaging relations with the community on which detectives are dependent for information.

Beyond question, illegal handguns and repeat violent offenders are a menace to Maryland communities, but unless the legislature can do something to promote more effective police work and prosecution, it is not the place to look for a solution.

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— Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.


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