By Stephen Janis
Special to the AFRO

A study has found that a majority of guns confiscated by police in Baltimore come from areas outside the city.  The data released by the office of Council President Brandon Scott revealed that 71 percent of the guns seized by police in the city were purchased or originated elsewhere.

The survey was part of a police department initiative to study the origins of gun violence in Baltimore.  This year the city is on another near record pace for homicides, with 214 murders thus far this year.

Eastern District officers recovered several guns, drugs, and ammunition during a police raid in the 2400 block of Greenmount Ave. earlier this year. The majority of guns seized on the streets of Baltimore originate in other jurisdictions, according to a recent study. (Photo: Twitter via the Baltimore Police Department)

But the numbers released by the department point to an often unacknowledged fact, the role the city’s suburbs play in fueling the intractable violence that is often deemed to be Baltimore’s problem solely.

“Baltimore needs a complete and comprehensive violence reduction plan, one that is focused. When 71 percent of guns that BPD recovered this year have origins outside of the city, we cannot ignore those who are trafficking guns onto our streets,” Scott told the AFRO.

The survey was conducted from January 1st, 2020 to the present.  Police officials noted that the COVID crisis has hampered some of the data collection

The biggest outside source of guns from the state into the city was Baltimore County, which was the source of 42 guns and Anne Arundel county, which supplied 12 guns.

The two top state suppliers are Virginia with 18, and Pennsylvania with 20.

The findings were unveiled during a hearing of the council’s public safety committee.  During the hearing the department said it was on track to reducing overtime 30 percent per pay period and transferring 100 officers from administrative positions to patrol.

One key statistic which emerged was a marked increase in residential robberies, up 36 percent in 2020.   The jump was attributed to the COVID-19 crisis, which has resulted in rampant unemployment and a coming wave of evictions.

Interestingly, the number of low-level narcotic arrests were down significantly, 73 percent for all misdemeanor drug charges.  The stark decline in what was once the department’s primary strategy for violence reduction highlighted what Scott said was a need to focus on economic inequality and joblessness to substantially combat violent crime.

“We must equitably invest city resources into parts of Black Baltimore that have been disinvested in for generations,” Scott said.