Recently, the city of Baltimore, Maryland, surpassed 300 recorded homicides in 2021. This continues a devastating trend of gun violence across the city, marking the 7th consecutive year Baltimore’s homicides have risen above 300.
Research shows that violence intervention programs help to reduce gun violence in communities disproportionately impacted, particularly at this critical moment when the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased rates of gun violence. Baltimore has made strides in adopting and expanding these vital programs, with Mayor Brandon Scott recently announcing his plan to allocate $50 million from the American Rescue Plan to be put toward violence intervention programs throughout the city. The investment, which will be utilized over three years through the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), will fund projects such as community-based violence intervention, victim services, youth justice, re-entry services, and other community healing efforts, which will expand on the work already being done in Baltimore to combat gun violence on the community level.
In the upcoming legislative session, the Maryland legislature will have the opportunity to pass meaningful legislation to prohibit ghost guns — untraceable, unserialized, homemade firearms, the building blocks for which can be purchased without a background check — the biggest threat to public safety facing our country, that has helped fuel the gun violence epidemic in Maryland.
In an average year, over 724 people die by guns in the state of Maryland and 1,747 more are wounded. Gun violence costs Maryland $5.7 billion each year, of which $375.8 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Maryland is available here.
If you would like to speak with a Maryland Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out.