MARYLAND

Prince George's County requires gun crimes offenders to register

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In an unanimous vote, the Prince George's County Council passed a legislation Tuesday requiring any resident convicted of a gun crime to join a countywide registration to track offenders.

Under the new law, offenders will register with police, be photographed within 48 hours of conviction and provide a range of personal information from legal name to employment.

“Most of your people that commit crimes are repeat offenders," said Hector Velez, deputy chief of bureau patrol for the Prince George’s County Police.

Criminals will stay on the list for three to five years, depending on the crime and be subject to bi-annual "check-ups," in which police personally visit offenders.

And while this is new to Prince George's County, it isn’t necessarily new to the region. Up the road in Baltimore, police operate a similar registry, as does the metropolitan police department.

"We've got people constantly looking for new ways, short of just arresting people, looking for interventions before crimes happens and that is what this does,” says Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker. “So, I'll be very excited to sign this legislation and hand out some pens."

But gun owners like Sam Doyle say it doesn't go far enough and should apply to anyone convicted of a serious crime.

"I don't want it to just apply to gun offenders, that commit the lowest level on a gun offense but commit the highest level of another offense and don't have to register," Doyle says.

The law will take effect in 45 days at the soonest, and will only track convictions after it's up and running.

The program will run from 10am-2pm, June 9th at 6801 Sheriff Rd., Landover, Md.

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