Ban guns in city (cont'd)

October 28, 1991

Although we would like nothing better than for the Baltimore City Council to pass an outright ban on the sale and ownership of all firearms within city limits, it appears that under Maryland law the council cannot act in unilateral fashion. The city, like every other jurisdiction in the state, is constrained by a clause in the Maryland Code which gives the General Assembly exclusive jurisdiction over firearms legislation.

That being the case, the council might still consider passing a resolution asking the legislature to enact such a ban in Baltimore city. Bills to that effect could then be introduced in the General Assembly by the city's House and Senate delegations when the 1992 session begins. Backed by a strong showing of council support, we would expect city senators and delegates to work hard for the measure's swift passage into law.

Since the ban would apply only to Baltimore city, there is no compelling reason for lawmakers from other parts of the state to oppose such a law. As the region's only major city, Baltimore can certainly argue that its situation is unique. The ghastly toll gun violence is taking daily on residents of this city amply justifies treating firearms differently here than elsewhere in the state.

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