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TV ad provides gun warning
Originally published January 11, 2007


The state's top federal prosecutor is paying three Baltimore television stations more than $41,000 to air a new public service announcement starting today about the potential perils faced by felons charged with federal gun crimes.

With a voice-over by Emmy award-winning actor Andre Braugher, who starred in Homicide: Life on the Street, the new ad warns criminals about the consequences of carrying a gun in Maryland.

A man sits on a couch in the ad when his cell phone rings. "Yo," he says. "A'right." Then he picks up a handgun on the table.

The ad flashes immediately to the man locked in a jail cell, appearing to rue the day he picked up the weapon.

"Guns are too hot to hold," Braugher says in his voice-over. "Maryland Exile: Gun crime equals jail time." The ad also quotes three cases where felons caught with guns received substantial prison sentences, including one life term.

The ad cost $30,000 in federal funds to produce, officials said.

"If we get the message to criminals and prevent them from carrying guns, we will save lives and we won't have to pay to prosecute them and incarcerate them," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in an e-mail yesterday.

The ads are set to air over the next month on local television channels 2, 11 and 13.
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