Since the death of Freddie Gray last month in Baltimore, stories about public safety fears have been all over the news. Protests even caused a Baltimore Orioles baseball game to be postponed due to fears regarding the safety of those in attendance as many protesters gathered close to the Camden Yards facility.
What does this mean for the future of the city and gun control laws in Maryland?
It remains to be seen what the long term impact will be, but the short term effects have been heavy, to say the least. According to ABC News, since Gray’s death, there have been over 40 shootings and Baltimore police are currently investigating more than two dozen homicides.
In less than a month, between April 25th and May 14th to be exact, there have been 25 shooting deaths. To put this in perspective, the worst month in 2014 was January with 26 deaths. Unfortunately, it got worse over the weekend.
Four more people were shot prior to the running of the Preakness, one of the Triple Crown horse races and a long-running race in Baltimore. At that point, The Baltimore Sun reported that there have been 35 homicides in the past month and as of the beginning of this week the total has risen to 37 due to two more shooting deaths during the day on Sunday. In addition, there were three more shooting incidents in the Penn North area and the status of those victims is undisclosed at the moment.
As we have previously discussed on our blog, Maryland’s gun control laws are at a crossroads and the debate over what should be done is only getting more heated in the wake of the riots and protests following the controversial situation surrounding Freddie Gray. What will this mean for the future of Maryland’s gun control laws?
Again, that remains to be seen, but the facts are that in less than a month since Gray’s death, the number of shooting homicides has far surpassed that of last year’s deadliest month. Maryland’s passed one of the most strict gun laws in the US in 2013 and at the time, advocates of gun control argued that it would “prevent gun violence, reduce the criminal element and save lives.”
The recent events in Baltimore have made that stance much more controversial, especially with those arguing that their second amendment rights are being infringed upon. Will this result in Maryland gun laws becoming even MORE stringent? Stay tuned…we will find out in October.