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Baltimore has violent crime problem and that worries City Councilman Brandon Scott. “A small group of people, over and over, are terrorizing the citizens of this city,” Scott tells Fox News. “It’s something that we need to address now.” He’s been racking his brain to come up with new ways to fight crime, and now thinks he’s hit on an unorthodox way to reduce violence in Charm City: let accused criminals hand in their guns to make bail.

I’ll give $10,000 for 85% of profits, and $50,000/month, forever.

The proposal, reports the Baltimore Sun, is actually the brainchild of Trevor Brooks, “a convicted murderer who attended a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program after getting out of prison.” Brooks has set up a company called GunBail.Com (join the Beta test here!) which advertises an app that facilitates the “surrender” of firearms.

I’d love to hear the Shark Tank pitch for that startup. “It’s like Netflix! In reverse! But for guns!”

This is how it’s supposed to work:

Simply take a picture of the firearm from within the GunBail app, specify the inmate and his location, and pay the GunBail Shipping & Handling fee. We’ll send you a GunBail box and tell you where to drop off the firearm, all while granting amnesty during the process.

Safely pack the firearm, securing the trigger with the provided trigger lock, and just drop the GunBail box at a nearby facility. Once you’ve dropped your GunBail box at a drop-off location it’s recorded in our system as officially surrendered. We send all surrendered guns to local law enforcement authorities.

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.

The program also seems to presuppose two other things: the guns are “illegal” (I suppose this means stolen? Unregistered with the Authorities?) and that the accused will show up in court at the appointed times even without the incentive of getting their bail money back. The GunBail FAQ also says that under its “amnesty agreement,” guns turned in through GunBail will NOT be subject to further investigation.

Questions submitted to Councilman Scott went unanswered at the time of writing, so it isn’t clear whether his resolution would simply approve the use of this GunBail program, or whether he was taking inspiration from the idea and running with it.

“I’ll give some credit for thinking outside the box, but it’s still a really bad idea,” says Paul Brockman, a gun rights activist and small business owner from the Baltimore area.

“Baltimore has a huge illegal firearm problem,” Brockman says, “because there is literally a revolving door of justice that releases violent criminals back on the streets…. Sending in a gun that might have been used in the crime that they are being charged for? Bad idea. Swapping thousands of dollars in bail for possibly a piece-of-junk? Bad idea.”

It’s unclear to me how this would impact crime rates…other than the fact that by giving people who were actually accused of crimes in the first place a chance to avoid being prosecuted for a firearms violation would probably lower the official rates without actually reducing violent crimes in the first place. And if that’s all that Baltimore wants to do, it might be better if it, and, indeed, the state of Maryland, repealed some of its more onerous gun control laws in the first place.

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  1. “It’s unclear to me how this would impact crime rates…other than the fact that by giving people who were actually accused of crimes in the first place a chance to avoid being prosecuted for a firearms violation would probably lower the official rates without actually reducing violent crimes in the first place”

    I have an even better thought. Person commits a violent crime with a firearm. Say homicide. He then uses the handy app to dispose of the weapon. If no one does any testing of the weapon, they’ve just disposed of evidence that can be used against them with government assistance.
    I imagine he had a brainstorming session in the cell block to come up with these out of the box ideas.

  2. Considering most of the firearms used by people who find themselves in jail are probably stolen, the accused will find that rather than getting out of jail, additional charges of possessing a stolen firearm will be added and they will remain in jail. Most of these people are not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but eventually they will even figure that out.

  3. Criminals at room temperature – shot by their intended victims – do not require any “bail,” and don’t need to be sent through the revolving doors of the prison system. So yes, repeal all the silly “gun control laws” that only keep “law abiding” people helpless.

    What an incredibly stupid idea here… but what can one expect from those who believe that unicorns fart skittles and tea.

  4. Sounds like a sequence of illegal transfers of firearms (potentially across state lines) in addition to possible destruction of evidence. Then it all gets wrapped in what is basically a criminal conspiracy. RICO charges anyone?

  5. I guess they think criminals have but one gun and they will trade it for bail. Promising not to as km questions or investigate further means the evidence is off the table theoretically. It’s a gun buy back scheme with a twist.
    How about we just plug the thug and take a short cut?

  6. So, I’m in jail charged with attempted murder and $100,000 bond. My girlfriend takes one of half dozen stolen guns and swaps it in to get me out. What a deal!!!

    And how much of a cut does this ex-con get for running his racket?

  7. Elections have consequences. If the people of Baltimore continue to elect idiots like this, they will continue to get idiodic nosense such as this idea.

  8. This idea portends stunning stupidity, for all of the reasons already presented, and also:
    People will be able to bring in paperweight grade, trash guns that they would normally bring to a “buyback” for $50 or
    $100 (when they are actually worth their weight in scrap metal).
    The Crimals would have NO motivation to return for trial. Anyone who is facing charges greater than jaywalking would disappear.

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