Worth the Risk? Gun Carrying and Perceived Criminal Justice Responses in Baltimore (Mary.)
A report examining proactive enforcement of gun law in Baltimore City found that 40% of individuals charged for illegal wear, carry and transport of a firearm and 36% of non-felon prohibited individuals charged with illegal gun possession had over 90% of their sentences suspended. This perception of consequences, or lack thereof, could be an important driver of gun-carrying behaviour in Baltimore. Our findings are consistent with prior research on law enforcement and/or criminal justice-related deterrence; behaviour may be more influenced by the probability of arrest than by the severity of sanctions.12 To reduce illegal gun carrying, strategies to increase the probability of arrest are likely to be more effective than increasing penalties.
12 Kulick J. Swift, certain, and fair: Review of state of knowledge. JAPPA 2017;41:34–41