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April 9, 2008

Registration fever: it starts with sex, then meth, then guns, then ...?

As regular readers know, though registration requirements are now universal and federally required for sex offenders, some local jurisdictions are using or thinking about requiring other kinds of offenders to register their whereabouts.  As detailed in posts here and here, a couple of years ago meth offense registries were the hot idea.  Now, as detailed in this local article from Maryland, it appears that a gun offense registry is becoming the talk of the towns:

Four months after it took effect, Baltimore’s new gun offender registry is starting to yield results — including its first criminal charge.

As of Tuesday, 47 people have registered under the new city law — the first of its kind in Maryland — which is modeled after many states’ sex offender registries.  Late Thursday prosecutors filed their first criminal charge, when a Baltimore man’s Salisbury address didn’t check out.

“Extra attention on gun offenders is what we were looking for, and I think there’s reason to believe it’s going to have some effect,” said Sterling Clifford, spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Police Department.... Margaret Burns, spokeswoman for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors are “energized” to be working with police to crack down on gun offenders.

Burns said there are currently 76 people who have been convicted of gun crimes who will have to register upon release. Clifford said the office of the Gun Offender Registry is located next door to an office full of parole and probation officers, who work closely with the gun task force....

Dixon signed the Gun Offender Registry Act into law Sept. 20 of last year, and it took effect Jan. 1. The city ordinance requires gun offenders to register with the Police Department immediately upon release from imprisonment and every six months afterward for three years.

A gun offender who violates the act, which applies to every gun conviction in Baltimore, faces up to a year in prison or a $1,000 fine. Each day the violation continues constitutes a separate violation, prosecutors said.

April 9, 2008 at 12:59 PM | Permalink


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I keep telling anyone who will listen why they should be concerned about what the states are doing to sex offenders. This is why - states are using the opening through "civil sanctions" to go after more people with almost no limits and they will continue to do so.

Posted by: Zack | Apr 9, 2008 2:16:41 PM

Why don't we just make anyone convicted of any crime wear a large red C on their clothes, visible at at times, and be done with it.

Posted by: ThreeSheet | Apr 9, 2008 4:17:37 PM

I once joked about this with my father, and said we should expand it to cover petty thefts, drunk driving, etc. This was before I went to law school (both of my parents are attorneys). He responded by saying "don't say that, or they'll do it." Well sure enough...

Of course, it isn't only registration. Pretty soon we'll be seeing residency restrictions and other "civil penalties" of a "regulatory" nature.

Posted by: Alec | Apr 9, 2008 6:05:56 PM

CalGRIP treats violent gang members like High-Risk Sex Offenders.

Gang members are on their way to joining sex offenders and drunken drivers with their own gallery of public shame.

New Gang Registry Bill Discussed
Gangs Must Register With Law Enforcement Or Face Felony Charges, Assemblywoman Says

Posted by: George | Apr 10, 2008 12:41:04 AM

Yeah we'll eventually have "civil commitment" for all felonies. It will start with recidivists who commit a second felony. But then it will expand to cover first-time criminals who commit serious felonies. Serious felonies, of course, being all felonies. Possession of a few ounces of pot will land you a few years in prison followed by life in "civil commitment".

Posted by: bruce | Apr 10, 2008 8:14:49 AM

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