Mayor, BPD Partner with Everytown to Develop Gun Safety on Innovative Gun Trafficking Tool
Wednesday Mar 3rd, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, March 3, 2021) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Commissioner Michael Harrison announced a partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety for a first-of-its-kind data intelligence tool to identify illegal firearms, solve crimes, and combat gun trafficking. This tool, which connects multiple previously unconnected datasets and adds a Baltimore-specific trafficking index, will help the Baltimore Police Department identify leads and make connections more quickly, and more comprehensively, for crimes involving firearms.
“At least 82% of the guns recovered in Baltimore last year were originally purchased outside of the city — with nearly 65% of the guns coming from outside of the state of Maryland. As a city where nearly all of our crime guns originate outside of our borders, we have an obligation to focus on the source of the firearms just as much as harm they cause,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We look forward to this partnership with Everytown to develop this first-of-its-kind data portal. Not only will this tool assist with investigations into gun violence, it will also aid BPD in holding gun traffickers and straw purchasers accountable for the role they play in Baltimore’s violence.”
“When it comes to gun trafficking, cities have been operating largely in the dark, and this tool is a flashlight,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “By connecting the dots on data, Baltimore will have the information it needs to help solve crimes, fight back against traffickers, and keep communities safe. We’re grateful for Baltimore’s leadership on this issue, because we hope to bring this platform to other communities grappling with daily gun gun violence.”
Gun trafficking is a major threat to public safety across the country. Without strong federal laws and enforcement, guns can flow in and out of states, ending up in the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. States with weak gun laws often serve as suppliers of guns to states with stronger gun laws and law enforcement is constrained by insufficient laws to crack down on gun trafficking.
The Baltimore Police Department has worked with Everytown to create this first-of-its-kind data portal that will provide a near real-time view of the City’s crime gun data. Specifically, the portal integrates BPD e-Trace data and data from ballistic evidence with crime data and shot spotter data. It will enable Baltimore detectives to see the full picture of guns fueling violence in the city.
This innovative tool will also allow law enforcement to follow a firearm from purchase to crime scene, identify individuals within the network of a perpetrator, firearm, or a gun dealer, and broaden investigations by looking at associated people, locations, and firearms. This partnership and tool will help the Baltimore Police Department identify leads and make connections more quickly, and more comprehensively, for crimes involving firearms.
Earlier this year, the city began piloting the Crime Gun Intelligence Center model in the Western Police District. This tool announced today is the natural next step to streamline and complement that strategy into a broader gun violence investigative suite.