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Crime and Justice

As a former county prosecutor, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger believes state and local law enforcement are the experts on how to best protect their citizens. In general, he defers to the wishes of the law enforcement agencies in his district when weighing federal judicial policy. Dutch believes:

The best way to fight crime is to support local law enforcement.

Dutch is proud to have secured millions of dollars to help Maryland and its local police departments fight criminals, including the funding needed to set up the first-of-its-kind, multi-jurisdictional gang taskforce. He has also secured millions to re-hire laid-off local police officers and firefighters and replace outdated safety equipment. Drawing on his experiences as Baltimore County Executive, he advocates on behalf of school resource officers – which protect students, teachers and staff – while in Congress.

Citizens have a right to responsibly bear arms, but we can do a better job regulating the sale and transfer of guns and ammunition.

Dutch strongly believes in the Second Amendment, but we also have a Constitutional responsibility to protect American citizens from harm. He supports efforts to ban true assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which have been the weapons of choice for mass shooters because their sole purpose is to inflict as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. When assault weapons or high-capacity magazines have been used in a shooting, the number of casualties has increased 63 percent. So while a ban may not stop these attacks, it will help drastically reduce the bloodshed.

Dutch also supports requiring background checks for all gun sales, including those purchased online and at gun shows and addressing the sale of firearms to the mentally ill.

To alleviate prison over-crowding, we should save mandatory minimums for the really bad guys.

Mandatory minimums for minor drug offenses are bogging our prison system down and costing young people who make one poor decision their entire futures. We should concentrate prison space on violent and career criminals by focusing mandatory minimums on leaders and supervisors of drug trafficking organizations. Dutch supports legislation that would reduce mandatory minimums for certain non-violent, first-time drug offenders, reduce the 3-strike mandatory life sentence to 25 years, allow drug sentences to be enhanced based upon prior convictions for serious violent felonies and broaden the existing safety valve for low-level drug offenders with prior misdemeanors.

Related Cosponsorships

Assault Weapons Ban of 2015

Condemning violence that targets healthcare for women.

Background Check Completion Act

Safer Communities Act of 2015

Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015

Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 2015

More on Crime and Justice

May 13, 2020 Press Release

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) today announced $4,258,843 in new federal support for the Baltimore City Police Department through the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Operation Relentless Pursuit (ORP).

Feb 12, 2020 Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Congressmen C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) today introduced bipartisan legislation to expand hospital-based violence intervention programs around the country. The “End the Cycle of Violence Act” provides $10 million in federal grants to hospitals that offer services to victims of violent crime while they are recovering from their injuries.

Trauma centers see many “repeat customers” caught in a revolving door of violent re-injury. In fact, one of the leading risk factors for violent injury is a prior violent injury.

Feb 10, 2020 Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), along with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize a new grant program at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities on state and local government networks.  In recent years, state and local governments have been rich targets for cyber adversaries and the frequency of these attacks is accelerating. 

Dec 16, 2019 Press Release

Baltimore, MD) – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced $4,608,210 in new federal funding to boost safety initiatives in Baltimore City and County. The funding, provided through the U.S. Department of Justice, includes:

Dec 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representatives Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, and Anthony Brown (all D-Md.) have announced $225,000 in federal funding for the Anne Arundel County Police Department to process DNA samples.

Dec 2, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) announced $477,000 in federal funding for the Baltimore County Police Department and the Baltimore City Police Crime Laboratory to process DNA samples. The Baltimore County Police Department will receive $225,000 and the Baltimore City Police Crime Laboratory will receive $252,000.

Jul 24, 2019 Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, an Appropriator who serves on the Homeland Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement in advance of today’s oversight hearing on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost will testify. The hearing will be broadcast live at 2 p.m. 

Jul 22, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Representatives Elijah E. Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger, and John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) met with Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Mayor Jack Young. The Members discussed the Commissioner’s recently released crime plan and their commitment to the Baltimore City Consent Decree.

Jul 12, 2019 Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Defense Appropriator, today voted in favor of legislation authorizing $733 billion in defense-related activities, including a 3.1 percent pay raise for troops, improving military housing and programs supporting military families.

Jul 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman C.A.