In 2010, Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled that residents need a state permit to take a gun outside the home, upholding the conviction of a man who committed no other “crime” than publicly possessing a firearm.
This week, the same court voided a five-year mandatory, no-parole sentence for gun possession by a convicted felon. When the defendant was convicted of “drug distribution,” the same jury also found him guilty of being a felon in possession, and the judge added the five-year sentence. Maryland’s Court of Appeals voided the felon-in-possession enhancement and ordered re-sentencing because, according to Maryland law, the defendant’s non-violent earlier conviction enabled him to qualify for a more lenient ruling.
The felon in possession was arrested for crimes committed in Baltimore. This ruling means a lighter sentence for a drug dealer who has no problem breaking federal law against felons owning guns. Drug dealers often use guns to further their “business.”
City officials decried the ruling, which comes as Baltimore is grappling with a flare-up of gun violence that has left dozens wounded and 23 dead in the past three weeks.
The state of Maryland thinks the law-abiding gun owner is a greater threat than a convicted drug dealer with a firearm.
The potential for enhanced violence aside, what about the racist outcome of gun control? States with the most gun control, like Maryland, have the highest black homicide rates.
Baltimore is no exception. According to FBI Supplementary Homicide data, between the years of 2000 and 2011, black victims accounted for 92% of Baltimore’s murder victims. Worse, this percentage has held steady and appears to be increasing in recent years.
Jesse Jackson has time to travel to Baltimore to rail against a youth detention center, but he apparently hasn’t held rallies over Baltimore’s high incidence of black homicide. Baltimore is 64% black, and between 2000-2011, 94% of all murder offenders were black, and that portion may be increasing over time.
But that leaves Jackson plenty of time fly to Florida to protest against white Hispanics.