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Local residents react to plans for new gun laws in Baltimore

Local residents react to plans for new gun laws in Baltimore

BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) -- Just hours after Baltimore leaders announced a new gun bill, the city experienced another round of shootings.

Five people were shot and two killed in four separate shootings on Friday night.

The city’s homicide total now sits at 187 this year.

On Friday, Baltimore city leaders unveiled a new crackdown on those who carry guns illegally in Baltimore city.

Baltimore's Police Commissioner Kevin David and Mayor Catherine E. Push stressed the proposed ordinance is meant to get the most violent and repeat offenders off the streets, and subsequently prevent them from committing other crimes.

If passed, it will automatically send someone to jail for one year if they’re caught carrying a gun illegally within 100 yards of any public building, school, church, or park.

Fox45 spoke with families at Patterson Park Saturday.

The majority, if not all, said they supported any way to reduce Baltimore city’s soaring violence.

“They (police) really need to crack down on this,” said Marquisa Austin, who lives in south Baltimore. “I have a 3 year old daughter who has to grow up here. I shouldn’t be scared to come outside or sit on my porch because I feel like a stray bullet may hit my child.”

As it stands, Police Commissioner Kevin David said illegally possessing a gun within the city limit of Baltimore is a misdemeanor, not a felony.

Davis also said there are no mandatory sentences upon conviction of illegally possessing a gun.

“It’s a misdemeanor offense that more times results in less jail time than a person gets for having crack cocaine in his front pocket,” said Davis.

The police commissioner stressed this is not about mass incarceration, rather holding the, “right people accountable and putting the right people in jail.”

Baltimore city council members are expected to vote on the ordinance during its next meeting August 14th, a spokesperson said.

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