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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Baltimore Considers "Guns for Bail" as Way to Reduce "Gun Violence"

The Baltimore Sun has the story here.
Trevor Brooks, a convicted murderer who attended a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program after getting out of prison, has an idea he thinks could reduce the rate of gun violence in Baltimore: Let people use an app to turn in guns and make bail.

Given the choice between giving up a gun or sitting in Central Booking, "they're going to turn the guns in as fast as they can," Brooks said.

On Monday, the City Council took up a resolution that would lend its support to the idea. The council will consider the measure as the city scrambles to contain a surge in gun violence that has killed 118 people this year and wounded 200 more, and has city officials leaning on the federal government for help.

Councilman Brandon Scott, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, introduced the measure. He said Brooks' company, GunBail, could offer a new option.
This enterprising former convict has come up with a mobile app that allows someone to take a picture of the firearm from within the app, specify the inmate and his location, and pay the GunBail Shipping & Handling fee. GunBail will send box and tell the individual where to drop off the firearm, all while granting amnesty during the process.   According to the GunBail web site:
Once the firearm is surrendered it can take up to 3 days for local law enforcement to receive it. Once we've turned it over to them your loved one can post bail as early as 48 hours depending on the local law enforcement agency. Regardless the GunBail team is with you every step off the way to make sure your loved one gets released and illegal guns stay off the streets.
 It's a new twist on the so-called "gun buy-back" scheme, but now it will get a perp out of jail.  But supposedly, unlike the "buy-backs which rarely involve firearms that have been used in crimes, this would "target people in the criminal justice system" and get the guns they use in crimes.

The problem with this idea is, according to the article, "nonviolent" offenders in custody would be the ones that are eligible, and, like the "buy-back" schemes, law enforcement would agree not to investigate whether the gun had been used in any other crimes.

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