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Mark Uncapher

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Mark Uncapher, is serving as President of the Montgomery County Republican Club. Mark is a long-time party activist who previously served as the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.

Three Common Sense Anti-Crime Proposals

Marylanders are waiting to see whether the General Assembly – and Governor Moore
– are prepared to tackle the State\’s crime epidemic head-on.

Crime ranks as the top issue for Maryland Democrats, Unaffiliated voters, and African- Americans, according to a recent Gonzales Maryland Poll. Only after adding in Republicans, when asking \”What is the most important issue facing Maryland today,\” does the economy edge out crime as the State\’s top issue among voters overall.[i]

Yet in his State of the State speech, Governor Wes Moore gave crime victims short shrift, choosing instead to decry \”unacceptable rates of incarceration.\” Even more, he echoed the woke talking point that treats fear of police and crime as equivalent threats with the claim of \”neighborhoods fearful of both the criminals and the forces sworn to protect them.\” [ii]

Commenting on the speech, Sean Kennedy of the Maryland Public Policy Institute noted that Moore has so far made \”only vague references to rising violence plaguing our communities.\” According to Kennedy, \”To gloss over this issue is an abdication of leadership while homicides, shootings, and carjackings remain at record highs while police numbers and morale are at record lows.\”[iii]

House Republican leaders Jason Buckel and Jesse Pippy note as well: \”Rising violent crime has impacted nearly every community in our State.  The safety of our citizens is a fundamental role of government. Maryland cannot be successful if our citizens do not feel safe.  Those who endanger our communities must be held accountable.  For far too long, the policies coming out of Annapolis have tended to focus on coddling criminals rather than protecting our citizens.  We must remove violent criminals from our streets.\”[iv]

Toward this goal, House Republican Caucus members have offered three common-sense proposals, each of which ought to enjoy bi-partisan support, but does not:

The No Bail for Violent Offenders Act of 2023 (HB 736) [v] would prohibit bail for an individual charged with a crime of violence if the individual has pending charges for a prior violent crime. Additionally, the bill bans bail for a person accused of a crime of violence if they have had a previous conviction for a violent crime and the individual completed their period of parole and probation within five years of the subsequent charges.

The Juvenile Gun Offenses Accountability Act of 2023 (HB 753) [vi] will allow the appropriate prosecution of juveniles under 13 who commit gun crimes. The bill would alter the juvenile court\’s jurisdiction to establish that the juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction over a child who is at least ten years old and alleged to have committed a certain offense involving using or possessing a firearm.

The Gun Theft Felony Act (HB 750), would classify firearm theft as a felony. It would establish a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 for a first offense and imprisonment not exceeding ten years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 for a second or subsequent offense. [vii]

Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States.[viii] Yet the number of murders and violent crimes committed with guns continues to grow every year, with the overwhelming majority of those committed with stolen guns. Despite this, Maryland General Assembly Democrats have remarkably resisted making the theft of a firearm a felony.

Marylanders are waiting to see whether the General Assembly – and Governor Moore – are prepared to tackle the State\’s crime epidemic head-on.


[i] Gonzales Maryland Poll, January 2023 https://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Gonzales-Maryland-Poll-January-2023.pdf

[ii] https://governor.maryland.gov/speeches/pages/Governor-Wes-Moore-2023-State-of-the-State-Address.aspx

[iii] https://www.mdpolicy.org/research/detail/what-gov-moores-speech-neglected

[iv] https://marylandreporter.com/2023/02/11/house-republican-caucus-introduces-legislative-package-to-reduce-crime-improve-education-and-restore-the-states-economy/

[v] Prohibiting a judicial officer from authorizing the pretrial release of a defendant who is charged with a crime of violence if the defendant has a pending charge for a crime of violence or was convicted within the previous 10 years of a crime of violence.

[vi] Altering the jurisdiction of the juvenile court to establish that the juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction over a child who is at least 10 years old alleged to have committed a certain offense involving the use or possession of a firearm.

[vii] Classifying the theft of a firearm as a felony; and establishing a penalty for theft of a firearm of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 for a first offense, and imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 for a second or subsequent offense.

[viii] https://giffords.org/lawcenter/resources/scorecard/

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