New legislation aims to target illegal possession of guns - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

New legislation aims to target illegal possession of guns

Posted: Updated:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Mahoning County is among twelve counties, according to Ohio's Attorney General that account for 83 percent of the state's violent crime; crimes most often committed with guns.

"Prisons need to be reserved for the most violent, dangerous people. That's what this does," says Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

That's why new legislation proposed by DeWine and Republican State Senator Jim Hughes aims to aggressively target repeat offenders or "career criminals" who illegally possess guns.

"They're career criminals because they continue to commit crimes when they're out of jail. So the way I look at it, the best way to deal with a career criminal is to keep them in jail longer. That keeps them from commiting more crimes. So I think it would be a success in that regard," says Boardman Police chief Jack Nichols.

Keeping those repeat offenders behind bars longer is just what the new legislation proposes to do.

The Violent Career Criminal Act calls for a mandatory 11-year prison sentence for those convicted of illegally possessing a gun, if they have previously been convicted of two or more violent felonies.

A form of three strikes and your out. Prosecutors say making the sentence mandatory is critical in cases with violent felons who repeat their crimes.

 "It is very much a repeat cycle. If this legislation were to be put in place, we would have the ability for longer penalties ... stiffer penalties, especially if that time frame that potential prison sentence was mandatory. That would really help us a lot," says Mahoning County Chief Criminal prosecutor Rebecca Doherty. "I know it's been successful in other states."

But the Attorney General admits longer prison sentences will not stop the gun violence alone.

That's why his office is planning to announce even more initiatives in the coming weeks.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • 'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    Friday, February 23 2018 4:51 PM EST2018-02-23 21:51:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...
    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.More >>
    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.More >>
  • US doing little to combat Russia meddling in next elections

    US doing little to combat Russia meddling in next elections

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:49 PM EST2018-02-23 18:49:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2018, file photo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats in Washington. The Russians are going to try it again...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2018, file photo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats in Washington. The Russians are going to try it again...
    Even as elections near, US has done little to aggressively combat the kinds of Russian meddling that was recently unmasked in federal court.More >>
    Even as elections near, US has done little to aggressively combat the kinds of Russian meddling that was recently unmasked in federal court.More >>
  • Indian partners hawk dinner talk with Trump Jr for $39,000

    Indian partners hawk dinner talk with Trump Jr for $39,000

    Friday, February 23 2018 3:27 AM EST2018-02-23 08:27:27 GMT
    (AP Photo). The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. , center, stands in front of Trump Towers after its inauguration in Pune, India, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Donald Trump Jr. said any talk that his family was profiting from his...(AP Photo). The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. , center, stands in front of Trump Towers after its inauguration in Pune, India, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Donald Trump Jr. said any talk that his family was profiting from his...
    Want an evening out with Donald Trump Jr.? Sorry, even if you have an extra $39,000 it's probably too late to buy a "conversation and dinner" with the eldest son of the American president as he visits India.More >>
    Want an evening out with Donald Trump Jr.? Sorry, even if you have an extra $39,000 it's probably too late to buy a "conversation and dinner" with the eldest son of the American president as he visits India.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms