INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican lawmaker from Indianapolis wants Indiana to require mandatory 20-year sentences for people who use a firearm while committing a violent crime.
State Sen. Jim Merritt says he plans to introduce legislation with the mandatory sentence in response to a string of home invasions in the Indianapolis area and rising gun and gang-related crimes across the state. He says Hoosiers can no longer tolerate home invasions, violent crimes, senseless shootings and murders.
Under current law, judges can sentence violent offenders using a firearm during a crime to an additional five years in prison. Merritt wants to make sentence enhancement mandatory and increase it to 20 years.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Merritt says Indiana needs to strengthen its penalties against violent offenders “to keep them off our streets.”