Bill Would Raise Penalties for Felons With Guns (but it won’t pass)

The Tennessean reports that crimes with guns appear on the increase, leading to a push in the Legislature for increased penalties for use of firearms during commission felonies. The story notes that federal law already provides much longer sentences for use of guns in crimes.
But only a fraction of gun cases, typically no more than 100 or so, makes it to federal court in Middle Tennessee in a given year. Martin said his office has limited resources and tries to focus on the worst offenders and gang cases.
To that end, the proposed state legislation pushed by police and prosecutors would increase sentences in state court of felons found with guns by a year or two in prison for most offenders to two to four years for drug felons and three to six years for violent felons.

Note: The article doesn’t give a bill number or a sponsor, but is apparently referring to SB692/HB1226 by Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, and Rep. Eddie Bass, D-Prospect. The bill was introduced in February and has never been put on notice for a hearing. Ergo, it’s dead for the year. The first step toward passage would be in the House Judiciary Subcommittee, which is closed for the year.

Leave a Reply