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County Police Chief Joins Call For Stricter Gun Laws

Group calls for expanded background checks and bans on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Updated (4:41p.m.)—Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson Thursday joined with other law enforcement agencies in calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting in Aurora, CO.

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, during a news conference in Washington DC, called for expanded background checks and a ban on the purchase of high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to a statement released by the Baltimore County Police Department.

Johnson is the incoming chairman for the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence.

Cpl. Cathy Batton, a police spokeswoman, said Johnson was unavailable due to scheduled meetings over the next two days.

In prepared comments released by the department, Johnson said background checks should be expanded to include non-dealer sales. (The full text of Johnson's statement are attached to this article.)

"This is not complicated," Johnson said in the prepared remarks. "If background checks are expanded to non-dealer sales, the buyer would go through the same check and the same system that already exists. The buyer and seller would simply go through a licensed dealer, who would collect a small fee to conduct the background check. No new system needs to be created and no undue burdens will be placed on anyone."

Johnson said the background checks would "stop more crime, prevent more tragedy and increase public safety."

Maryland currently requires a background check and a seven day waiting period on handgun purchases.

Maryland law also requires that an individual who wishes to sell a weapon to another individual must do so either through the Maryland State Police or a licensed gun dealer.

The dealer may charge a $20 fee for the transaction and the waiting period and background checks apply.

Earlier this week, a on a ruling that struck down a requirement for individuals to show "a good or substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger."

Windriver July 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM
A language nazi too huh honeygal?
Neil B July 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
There is no mention of this guy actually doing anything illegal. If he owns those guns legally then it is he said she said.
Honeygo Hal July 27, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Nazi is certainly too strong of a word. I just think people on here should retain the skills they were supposed to have to graduate from elementary school - or are you still looking forward to that day?
Honeygo Hal July 27, 2012 at 06:29 PM
He called his boss twice and threatened him...
Neil B July 27, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Arresting people for pre-crime is a bad precedence. All they can charge him with is making threats. It is still he said she said. This media blasting it out is a load of crap.
Honeygo Hal July 27, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Granted, individuals are entitled to own firearms, but here is what this whack-job had in his apartment: Authorities detailed the weaponry in Prescott's home in their search warrant: •4 30-round magazines •2 shotguns •1 Beretta .40-cal handgun •1 Ruger .45-cal handgun •2 KAHR 9mm handguns •1 Beretta 9mm handgun •2 Sig Sauer P226 handguns •1 Browning Arms handgun •2 Mauser rifles •1 FN Herstal rifle •1 Ruger 357 handgun •1 Night scope •100 rounds 12 remington •40 large steel boxes of ammo of various calibers Not to be outdone, he was wearing quite a classy T-shirt when they entered the apartment: Guns Don't Kill People - I Do Just in case you were uninformed, there is no PAUSE button on real life - once he pulls the trigger it is too late. Perhaps you should have been the one to tell him he was fired...
Windriver July 27, 2012 at 06:55 PM
No not too strong. You seem to miss the fact that sometimes people are not using a full size keyboard or monitor when they post. See today people can use all sorts of devices to do this. Some have small keys and screens and some have fumbly fingers. Stop being an ass.
Windriver July 27, 2012 at 06:57 PM
What a small collection! And a few thousand rounds is an afternoon of fun for the entire family.
Windriver July 27, 2012 at 06:59 PM
honeygal, send me your address and I will send to you free of charge a yard sign, 3'x4' that says THIS HOME IS A GUN FREE HOME. Then when you need a person with a firearm do not call the police.
Neil B July 27, 2012 at 07:00 PM
It is not illegal to own all those guns. What if he is a collector? I understand you like to think you are on the moral high ground but this guy does not yet deserve to have his life smeared all over the press.
Honeygo Hal July 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Nice smoke screen. I'll just use 2 of your examples: "There" instead of "Their" - not a "small keyboard" mistake. "Form" instead of "From" - relatively common mistake, but same as above - not due to a small keyboard. What's the next excuse?
Evets July 27, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Honeygo Hal - I am not the first to say this, but an armed society is generally a polite society...
Honeygo Hal July 27, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Go do your spelling homework - start with Screen Names until you get them all right. I guess you have a sign that says THIS HOME IS FULL OF WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION. Won't do you much good with a well-placed lightning strike...
Henry Chinery July 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
"Any weapon used to assault is an assault weapon. Whether it is a .22 or a 50cal." Or a rock, hammer, baseball bat, car etc. Anything used to assault someone is an "assault weapon" as a result of it's use, not what it is. My AR-15 has never "assaulted" anything but targets. And legally it's not an assault weapon because it doesn't have a bayonet lug or a flash suppressor.
The Dude July 28, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Shallow Hal needs a gal.
Honeygo Hal July 28, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Stay under the bridge where you belong.
Ron July 28, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Laura, the law states "A person may not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, purchase, receive, or transfer a detachable magazine that has a capacity of more than 20 rounds of ammunition for a firearm." No where in that does it say you can't physically acquire them from surrounding states and bring them home to Md.
Ron July 28, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I forgot to state that possession of magazines over 20 rounds is legal.
Ron July 28, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Like Laura M said, just a little while longer!:-)
The Dude July 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Shallow Hal really needs a gal
Honeygo Hal July 28, 2012 at 04:38 PM
While I don't prefer it, I can really hold my own in an a**hole contest - The Dude is Rude
jack friese July 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Johnson is a political hack and runs the Baltimore County Police department with a bunch of keystone cops. My manufacturing facility and warehouse in Baltimore County was broken in to several years ago. I told the County Police who committed this crime. More than eighty five weapons were stolen and it is documented. ATF did an "investigation" and I told them who the culprit is. This criminal is now in jail on other charges such as drug sales, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime and on an on. There has been no followup by the Baltimore County Police department. More than 85 weapons, including "assault weapons" were stolen by this criminal. The Baltimore County Police, States Attorney Jesamy, Shellia Dixon, Chief Bealfeld and others were sent emails identifying the guy who stole these weapons. There has not been a single update on this break in Chief Johnson or States Attorney Mr. Bernstein. What say you? You have the guy who stole these weapons in jail on other charges. What have you done about this crime Chief Johnson? Not much!
Tree August 01, 2012 at 12:58 PM
So we should just wait and see what this guys does and then react? I am sure that would go over real well when he kills ur family..
Kenny L. August 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Come on, Jack. There's no revenue to be had in recovering your stolen guns. In fact, it would take officers away from their normal revenue generating duties to prosecute such a thing. What was it you said they arrested him for, selling drugs? Due to drug forfeiture laws, that's a money maker. See the difference? Did they find any of your guns when they arrested him on unrelated charges? Any gun not required for evidence would have to be collected, inventoried, and a search for the rightful owner would need to be conducted. That's unprofitable, laborious, and could lead to a net increase of guns in the state. Sounds like bad business to me and I wouldn't be surprised if a solution was found that avoided all that red tape and kept your guns off the street (for now anyway).
Joe August 01, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The Langwage Nazi is in da housse
The Dude August 01, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Don't u know it. Shallow Hal pays cash for his gal
John October 04, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Johnson gets to carry a weapon on his off hours, so screw everyone else!!!!! Having unarmed citizens is called job security for the police!
CP January 15, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Does Johnson wear a Brown shirt on his off days?
Buck Harmon January 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I believe that to term the Constitution "Right" is wrong. The Constitution is a tool of the people designed to maintain some degree of balance for society. The more out of balance society becomes, the more challenge is brought into the interpretation of it's true meaning. Until balance can be achieved the Constitution will continue to serve as it was intended to, to challenge and keep government under control by the people. This is a dumb control attempt that will never make anyone safer...a failure in this Police Chief's sworn oath to uphold the Constitution. He should be removed....
Steve January 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Chief Johnson was way ahead of the curve on this one.

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