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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2012 02:22 PM
From: Representative Todd Stephens
To: All House members
Subject: Gun Violence – Mandatory Sentences for Felons Possessing Firearms
In the near future I will be re-introducing HB 2331 to combat gun violence and straw-purchasers in our Commonwealth. This bill passed the House 190-7 last session. If we want to get serious about getting illegal guns off our streets we must get serious with the penalties we impose for those violating our laws. Tougher penalties will deter felons from illegally possessing firearms as well as provide our prosecutors with tools to combat the straw purchasers who illegally provide these firearms.

Currently we have no mandatory minimum sentence for felons who illegally possess firearms - my bill would impose a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence. My legislation would also designate the crime of a felon illegally possessing a gun as a "crime of violence" triggering our second strike (10 year mandatory) and third strike (twenty-five year mandatory) provisions.

By enacting these tough penalties for those who illegally possess firearms we will deter violent criminals but will also create incentives for those being prosecuted to cooperate with law enforcement. Through greater cooperation law enforcers will be able to more effectively investigate and prosecute straw-purchasers.

Introduced as HB1498