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Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young Delivered Remarks at a Press Conference Announcing Increased Penalties for Possession of an Illegal Handgun in Baltimore

 

 

 

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young Delivered Remarks at a Press Conference Announcing Increased Penalties for Possession of an Illegal Handgun in Baltimore

(Remarks as prepared)

City Hall, July 14, 2017

 

BALTIMORE, MD (July 14, 2017) – Mayor Pugh, thank you very much for your efforts to reduce crime in the City of Baltimore.

 

We are here today to unveil a piece of legislation that will serve as a tool to help get the most dangerous and violent repeat offenders off the streets of Baltimore.

 

It’s that simple, folks.

 

I know that there’s been a lot of discussion, both nationally and locally, around the mistakes associated with requiring mandatory minimum sentences for relatively low-level drug offenders.

 

We all should be aware of our country’s mistake of taking a harsh stance against individuals who suffered from drug addiction.

 

I, for one, have been at the forefront of advocating for an approach that treats our drug problem first as a public health issue

 

But that’s not what this piece of legislation is about.

 

The individuals who are walking around the streets of Baltimore with illegal handguns are not well-intentioned.

 

They are people on the verge of shattering the hopes and dreams of another family in Baltimore.

 

I’ve spoken to too many parents, siblings, grandmothers and friends of homicide victims who are destroyed by the senseless death of their loved one.

 

And enough is enough.

 

To the people of this City who feel like they have been forgotten and don’t see opportunities available to them, I say we are here for you

 

We’re working to provide you opportunities that will help you join the fabric of our city.

 

But to the individuals who decide to settle petty beefs and local squabbles by pulling the trigger of a gun you’re on notice: if you’re caught with an illegal gun you will do time.

 

We’re focused like a laser on continuing our work to provide more employment opportunities, better apprenticeship programs that can provide a steady path to the middle-class and more affordable housing options for our citizens.

 

That work won’t stop and will not be slowed.

 

This piece of legislation is necessary and will help send a signal to the most hardened repeat offenders that it’s not ok to take a life and destroy a family forever.

 

And in addition to the mayor’s legislation creating a penalty for carrying an illegal handgun, I’ll be introducing a resolution at Monday’s Council meeting calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation that will further strengthen penalties for possessing an illegal handgun.

 

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