Gun Violence | WYPR

Gun Violence

Rachel Baye

Members of the Maryland General Assembly are rushing to meet a legislative deadline Monday, which is known as Crossover Day in Annapolis. Any bills that have not passed in one chamber and “crossed over” to the other by the end of the day will face an additional hurdle and are less likely to become law this year.

This is the latest on some of the issues lawmakers are grappling with this year.

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Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center is the busiest in the country – this is where the Air Force sends medical professionals to train before deploying. In other words, the conditions in Baltimore City aren’t so different from a war zone.

What are we doing to address this ongoing crisis? Some say it’s time to start looking at gun violence as a public health issue. That’s the angle we’re taking on this show. And we’re talking with the folks who are at the front lines – working in Shock Trauma – in Annapolis – and at John Hopkins’ renowned School of public health.

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Dozens of gun-rights advocates testified in Annapolis on Monday on a bill that would ban 3-D printed and other homemade guns that lack serial numbers, what are sometimes referred to as “ghost guns” because they are harder to trace.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

In the first State of the State address after winning reelection, Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted several of his priorities for the legislative session, including tax cuts and tougher sentences for violent crimes. His agenda was met with both praise and criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to deliver his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, highlighting some of his priorities for the General Assembly’s current legislative session. On Tuesday, Democratic leaders in the legislature announced their major priorities.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly begins its annual 90-day session Wednesday in Annapolis, and reducing violent crime in Baltimore is at the top of political leaders’ agendas.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Lee Gedansky’s son turns 13 in December. Their family plans to celebrate with a bar mitzvah at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

A bar mitzvah often comes with months of preparation. But in addition to all the usual concerns, the shooting that killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday has Gedansky worrying about safety measures.

BPD on High Alert for Three Days

Oct 1, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

After two city police officers were involved in a shooting more than a week ago and the number of homicides jumped last month, the Baltimore Police Department is going on high alert for three days.

Rachel Baye

  

Maryland’s red flag law goes into effect on Monday. The law creates a process through which a court can revoke someone’s right to own a gun if the person poses an immediate threat to him or herself or to others.

Closing Time: Baltimore's Battle with Liquor Licenses

Sep 12, 2018
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First of two parts

Residents of at least 10 Baltimore communities say a proliferation of bars and liquor stores has led to an increase in crime in their neighborhoods and they want the city’s board of liquor license commissioners to do something about it.

But liquor board members say there isn’t much they can do because of state law, which frustrates folks like Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, president of the Matthew Henson Community Association.

Jacksonville Shooter Grew-Up in Maryland

Aug 27, 2018
EA Sports Gaming

Authorities have identified David Katz as the gunman that killed two people and injured 11 others before taking his own life at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday afternoon. The 24-year-old was a Maryland resident.

BPD Officers Fail to Respond to Armed Man

Jul 16, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

The Baltimore Police Department is calling for an internal investigation of officers who apparently ignored reports of an armed man who ditched a gun. The video footage of the incident was recorded on a city firefighter’s dash camera.

Evacuees in Annapolis Tell Their Stories

Jun 28, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

  

Anne Arundel County Police say they evacuated 170 people yesterday from the building in Annapolis that houses the Capital Gazette newspapers and other offices. Here are a few of the stories of the survivors.

Cardin Urges Baltimore Students to Keep Moving Forward

Mar 29, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Senator Ben Cardin visited what must be one of the safest schools in Maryland Thursday morning to talk with students about gun violence, both in and out of school. The school has security guards, cameras and an electric gate.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers are considering something billed as the “Comprehensive Crime Bill of 2018.” The legislation was developed in large part as a response to the record levels of violent crime in Baltimore last year, and one of its biggest impacts would be tougher sentences for repeat violent offenders.

Chris Connelly / WYPR

State lawmakers are considering a bipartisan package of bills aimed at making public schools better equipped to handle shootings.

On Thursday, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee considered a bill establishing what the sponsor called a “last line of defense,” should a shooter get inside the building.

Rachel Baye

In a largely bipartisan move, the Maryland House of Delegates voted Thursday night to ban bump stocks, the device used in the Las Vegas shooting last October to make a semi-automatic rifle fire rapidly like an automatic weapon.

Rachel Baye

In the wake of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut a little more than five years ago, Maryland passed a law banning “assault weapons” and large-capacity, detachable magazines. The ban includes a long list of semi-automatic handguns and rifles, including AR-15-style rifles, like those used in several mass shootings, including last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Now Republican lawmakers in Annapolis are sponsoring a bill to remove the rifles and other long guns from the ban.

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State elected officials are proposing competing tactics to keep Maryland’s public schools safe from a possible gunman.

Speaking with reporters after Thursday's floor session, Senate President Mike Miller said he met with senators that morning about creating a "comprehensive" package of bills aimed at protecting schools. He promised at least four bills, including some boosting school social workers and placing armed security guards at schools.

Baltimore City Health Department

Some state legislators who represent Baltimore in Annapolis are trying to increase state funding for programs designed to prevent gun violence before it happens.  The officials compared gun violence to a contagious disease at a press conference announcing the legislation Monday in South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood.

Rachel Baye

Maryland Democrats are introducing a ban on bump stocks, the device used in the Las Vegas shooting in October that enables a semi-automatic gun to fire continuously without repeatedly pulling the trigger, they announced Thursday.


Mayor Pugh holds candlelight vigil for victims of violence

Dec 29, 2017
Dominique Maria Bonessi

As Baltimore’s homicide rate reached record proportions—343 murders this year—Mayor Catherine Pugh held a candle light vigil for the victims last night at the War Memorial.

Sessions and Nielsen talk tough on crime and immigration

Dec 12, 2017
Dominique Maria Bonessi

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came to Baltimore today to talk about immigration and Central American gangs. Sessions tied that to Baltimore’s soaring homicide rate.

Sessions spoke of increases in violent crime nationwide, in part fueled by the Central American gang, MS-13, then turned to Baltimore.

Pugh says nothing new in Hogan's plan

Dec 6, 2017
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Governor Larry Hogan released a plan to crack down on crime in Baltimore Tuesday, criticizing Mayor Catherine Pugh’s efforts. But the mayor was not impressed.

Hogan announced more state police patrols, more probation agents serving warrants and other initiatives. Pugh responded Wednesday morning.

Chris Connelly / WYPR

The state Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee convened a meeting Tuesday to examine record levels of violence in Baltimore — what’s causing it and how it can be stopped. WYPR's Rachel Baye spoke with Nathan Sterner about the discussion and the conclusions drawn.

Rachel Baye

The meeting of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Tuesday morning was closed to the public and to the press, but the city and state officials who attended said tougher sentencing practices was a major focus of the discussion.

Rachel Baye

Following a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning with city and state officials to discuss rising levels of violent crime in Baltimore, Gov. Larry Hogan said his biggest concern is the number of people who are committing multiple violent crimes without serving time.

Mayor Catherine Pugh’s watered down bill aimed at imposing a mandatory minimum one-year sentence for possession of an illegal gun survived a preliminary vote in the city council Monday night.

The 8-7 vote came after opponents gathered outside City Hall demonstrate against the bill.

Mayor Pugh released long-awaited violence reduction plan

Aug 9, 2017

After months of  increased-levels of violence and multiple requests, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her Violence Reduction Plan Wednesday. The plan contains many promises, but few bench marks.

Baltimore Police vacancies and pilot programs

Aug 9, 2017
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the Baltimore Police Department's officer vacancies, new hiring strategy, and programs in their pilot phase to bring the department into the 21st century. 

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