Race Matters: NAACP Protests Proposed Gun Offender Registry Law In Wealthiest African-American County In U.S.

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NAACP Protests Proposed Gun Offender Registry Law In Wealthy African-American County

A law that would require members of the community convicted of gun-related crimes to check in with police every six months is in the works in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The NAACP chapter of Prince George’s County, which is the wealthiest African-American majority county in the nation, says they are not havin it.

The Prince George’s County’s chapter of the NAACP is hoping to stop County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) from signing a countywide gun offender registry program into law, claiming the law is unconstitutional.

The registry program, passed June 5 by the County Council with a 9-0 vote, would establish a police-kept registry for those convicted of gun-related crimes who would have to check in with police every six months for three years in addition to providing information such as phone numbers and where they live and work.

Legislation for the registry was introduced by County Councilwoman Karen R. Toles (D-Dist. 7) of Suitland and co-sponsored by the entire council to serve as “a deterrent to gun offenders” to reduce the amount of gun-related crimes and homicides in the county, Toles has said.

Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People met June 21 to discuss their opposition, saying the bill violates the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits governments from depriving a person’s life, liberty and property without first taking certain steps to ensure fairness. In addition, they are citing flaws in similar legislation in Baltimore for a gun-offender registry that is currently up for potential appeal after a city circuit court judge said April 6 that the legislation was unconstitutional and too vague.

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