ACTION ON CRIME – AT 7:08 A.M. ET: Prince George's County, Maryland, on the outskirts of the nation's capital, is one of the most crime-ridden areas of the country. And, as in many minority areas, taking firm action is difficult in the face of the racial demagogues who demand "understanding" of the criminal element.
Now, though, the county has apparently had enough, and is taking action modeled on successes in New York and elsewhere. It's about time. We'll be following the new practices to see if they can be made to work when there's no Rudy Giuliani around to insist that they work. From WaPo:
In Prince George’s County — where hundreds of people were shot last year and 64 of them died — people convicted of gun crimes may soon be required to register, regularly check in with police and submit to home visits from officers.
All nine members of the County Council have signed on as co-sponsors of a bill requiring the registry, and a vote is expected in early June. The effort to make the county’s streets safer has been pushed by the police, who say that for too many people, carrying a firearm illegally is a rite of passage and getting caught is a minor inconvenience.
“These guys are not afraid to ride around with guns,” said Prince George’s Deputy Police Chief Craig Howard, who has lobbied for the legislation. “They’re not afraid to get locked up. So hopefully, this will give us a little teeth.”
If the measure passes, as expected, the county would join a growing number of local governments regionally and across the nation that allow police to monitor gun offenders.
In recent years, Baltimore and the District — following the lead of New York City — have created such registries and assigned detectives to visit the homes of convicted gun offenders, authorities said. Connecticut legislators discussed enacting such a registry statewide last year, but no bill came to a vote, and the issue did not come up during this year’s legislative session, authorities said.
Although the registries are in their infancy, there is some evidence they are effective.
In the District, which launched its registry in December 2009, only nine of the 1,148 offenders have been arrested again on gun counts, although others may have been accused of different offenses, said D.C. police Capt. Brian Harris. In Baltimore, which began its registry in 2008, fewer than 5 percent of the 1,669 gun offenders whose names have been on the registry have been arrested on new gun charges, and just 25 percent have been arrested on any new charges, said Sheryl Goldstein, the director of the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice.
COMMENT: We're all for it. It's been effective in New York, yet does not interfere with the Second Amendment rights of legitimate gun owners, and I'm one of them. The NRA is opposed to registries, and their arguments are serious. But on this type of registry, I think they're wrong.
May 29, 2012