Trevor Brooks, a convicted murderer who attended a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program after getting out of prison, has an idea he thinks could reduce the rate of gun violence in Baltimore: Let people use an app to turn in guns and make bail.
Given the choice between giving up a gun or sitting in Central Booking, “they’re going to turn the guns in as fast as they can,” Brooks said.
On Monday, the City Council took up a resolution that would lend its support to the idea. The council will consider the measure as the city scrambles to contain a surge in gun violence that has killed 118 people this year and wounded 200 more, and has city officials leaning on the federal government for help.
Councilman Brandon Scott, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, introduced the measure. He said Brooks’ company, GunBail, could offer a new option.
“We have to be thinking as creatively as possible to get guns off the streets,” Scott said. “I’m just hopeful we’ll be able to be on the cutting edge of something.”
Authorities have held gun buybacks in the past, offering cash payments or gift cards in exchange for weapons. While the events often recovered hundreds of guns in a single day, they’re not typically the kinds of weapons used in crimes. And the events don’t tend to attract people who are likely to commit gun crimes.