Study: Vast Majority of Murder Suspects and Victims in Baltimore Have Criminal Records

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison (Photo: Baltimore Police Department)

If policymakers want to reduce the number of murders in Baltimore, they would be advised to target criminals rather than law-abiding gun owners.

“Clearly neither the victims nor perpetrators of murders are ‘normal’ people — both groups are overwhelmingly criminals,” says Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., in a new analysis from the Crime Prevention Research Center. “Homicides in Baltimore largely involve criminals killing criminals.”

According to the study, 82 percent of murder victims in Baltimore had a criminal record, and the average victim had been arrested 10.8 times. Just over four of those arrests were for drug offenses, and 67 percent had at least one arrest record for drugs. Forty-four percent had an arrest record for gun crimes, and 29 percent of victims were clearly known by the police to be members of “drug crews or gang” members.

Among those arrested on suspicion of murder, 81 percent had a criminal record. Lott notes, however, that because only 31 percent of murder investigations in Baltimore end with an arrest, the true percentage of murderers with criminal records is likely much higher.

Source: Crime Prevention Research Center

SEE ALSO: Baltimore to Introduce ‘SAFE Act,’ Mandatory Licensing for Gun Dealers

Baltimore isn’t alone. In cities across the country, victims of crime are frequently enmeshed in the criminal networks by which they are victimized. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, “The persistent link between offending and victimization is one of the most robust empirical findings in criminological research.”

In addition, gang members are responsible for a high percentage of violent crime in most jurisdictions.

According to the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, gang members account for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Texas report that gangs account for 90 percent of all violent crime.

Street gangs engage in a “host” of violent criminal activities, including assault, drug trafficking, extortion, firearms offenses, home invasion robberies, homicide, intimidation, shootings, and weapons trafficking.

SEE ALSO: Baltimore City School Board Votes to Leave Officers with Empty Holsters

Baltimore’s clear inability to contain its criminal element hasn’t stopped city officials from blaming the gun industry for their own incompetence. Baltimore officials announced in November of last year that they’re considering bringing a lawsuit against gun makers if the lawsuit against Remington by Sandy Hook families is successful.

After the Supreme Court allowed the Sandy Hook suit to move forward, Baltimore Solicitor Andre Davis said gun manufacturers should be held accountable for the hundreds of homicides that take place in the city.

“That decision by the court of appeals a couple of weeks ago was a breakthrough because Congress has created immunity for these gun manufacturers that, up until now, has been impenetrable and this recent decision is the first small crack in the wall and we will continue to monitor it,” Davis said.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • K Willliams December 19, 2020, 10:50 am

    Jordan, I am an African-American , outdoor enthusiast, Avid hunter, Proud Gun owner, an law abiding Citizen Who grew up in the inner cities and never committed a crime.

    Senseless killings wherever they occur is unacceptable and all perpetrators should be held Accountable. Our nation has been negatively affected by thugs starting with unruly mobs who targeted families who Could not protect themselves because the second amendment initially did not allow free slaves to own Firearms . During roaring 1920’s to 1950’s immigrants who migrated from Italy, Sicilian, Irish and other Caucasians thugs terrorize the nation with senseless killings and illegal activities. During 70s The mafia is out of control it has taken to stay cold and all of our large major cities and thugs committing senseless gun crimes in our cities as well as in the suburbs , and through the 80s we see our government in military officials making deals with drug traffickers by providing them weapons and allowing them to ship large amounts of illegal drugs to our cities, all criminals, thugs whether elected officials, military, and street criminals.
    From the 90s to the present we have seen thugs, criminals using firearms in the inner cities, College campus, children’s classrooms from coast to coast, Las Vegas, movie theaters, and everywhere law-abiding citizens gather. I believe everyone everywhere should have the ability to be a concealed carry holder and to be able to protect themselves regardless where these criminals, thugs (caucasian, African-American , hispanics , asian, Etc.) choose to inflict harm on law abiding citizens. It is a sad thing when Caucasian mass shooters continue to go into our schools, malls, place we gather and kill innocent people using firearms, and we only talk about what is occurring in the inner-cities. ALL LIVES MATTER, Even law abiding citizens killed at the hands of thuggish caucasian criminals whoever obtain a firearm illegally! If we’re going to talk about gun crimes let’s talk about them all!

  • chance October 8, 2020, 7:11 pm

    Kill em’ all and let God sort em’ out! I’m tired of inner-city violence, which is almost entirely perpetrated by minorities, with illegally obtained weapons which nearly all of the perpetrators are already prohibited from owning, limiting my ability to own firearms so I can protect myself, my loved ones, and other innocent bystanders. Keep on outlawing guns Democratic liberals, keep on taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens and when you’ve stripped us all of our 2nd amendment rights I’m sure you’ll be totally surprised when gun violence goes up in major cities across this great land of ours.

  • Sal April 27, 2020, 10:27 pm

    No shit?! Not a revelation- I could have told you that, and I live 1100 miles away. Here’s a quarter- go buy a clue.

  • Bad Penguin April 27, 2020, 3:40 pm

    The demoncrats of the state used these inner city idiots as an excused to outlaw all kinds of firearms throughout the entire state. Problem is almost all of the gun crime and murders in the state happen in Baltimore and none of the guns outlawed are used in crimes.

  • Ed Hippensteel April 27, 2020, 11:14 am

    This is old news for those of us who live near Baltimore. I have friends who live in the city who receive jury duty requests 4 or more times a year, due to the shrinking population in the city who DO NOT have criminal records! I also have a son who attends a special school in Baltimore that we have to drive to for meetings several times a year and have encountered “active shooters” on multiple occasions. When stopped at a traffic signal, I always allow lots of space in front and am always aware of how I would bug out if the situation required. Also, a RED traffic light doesn’t mean anything when the shots ring out – I just floor it and dodge the cross traffic, which has also happened several times! No end in sight.

    • Ti April 27, 2020, 5:18 pm

      Apparently that is common practice in Johannesburg, South Africa. After 10 pm red light means nothing……..

  • Andy Buckmichael April 27, 2020, 10:11 am

    And the vast majority of them are knee-grows.

  • Leighton Cavendish April 27, 2020, 8:10 am

    Betting most have other things in common, too.
    And these similarities probably also exist in almost every major city in the USA.
    Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm.

  • Hondo April 25, 2020, 12:13 pm

    Honestly , who here is shocked by this revelation ?

    Big city sheeple keep voting for these corrupt democrats and enjoy your utopia, lol.

  • Ti April 24, 2020, 12:14 pm

    Mogadishu , Somalia. The sister city to Baltimore. Ask Cathy Pugh.

  • floyd April 24, 2020, 11:45 am

    Nature doing what nature does bets.

  • David Kent April 24, 2020, 8:27 am

    The single most neglected truth in the gun control debate. Every cop knows that the most efficient way to limit the number of criminals is to provide them with more effective guns and ammo, and teach them to shoot better.

  • Hendrik Joseph Haan April 24, 2020, 8:20 am

    What an opportunity! Classify the deaths as COVID and get more money from the Fed. Also, you then free up room in the jails! (Democrat reasoning.)

  • Rick B April 24, 2020, 7:39 am

    Really go figure. Inner city gang bangers killing each other. Is this a tragedy ? I think it’s a blessing.

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