New legislation aims to target illegal possession of guns - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, 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.comMore>>

  • Lightning kills boy swimming in Pennsylvania creek

    Lightning kills boy swimming in Pennsylvania creek

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:34 GMT
    Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a central Pennsylvania creek.More >>
    Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a central Pennsylvania creek.More >>
  • Ohio police: Wedding guest tries to steal gifts

    Ohio police: Wedding guest tries to steal gifts

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Police in Dayton say a wedding guest tried to make off with checks and cash for the newlyweds. Officers were called to the wedding reception late Saturday night after workers noticed that a safe had been emptied out. Police say about $6,800 was found in unopened wedding cards inside a tuxedo garment bag belonging to one of the guests. A police report says surveillance video showed a man entering the office and later walking out with the garment bag. The man told police he...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Police in Dayton say a wedding guest tried to make off with checks and cash for the newlyweds. Officers were called to the wedding reception late Saturday night after workers noticed that a safe had been emptied out. Police say about $6,800 was found in unopened wedding cards inside a tuxedo garment bag belonging to one of the guests. A police report says surveillance video showed a man entering the office and later walking out with the garment bag. The man told police he...More >>
  • Flying club remembers 4 killed in Ohio plane crash

    Flying club remembers 4 killed in Ohio plane crash

    CLEVELAND (AP) - Members of a flying club held a candlelight vigil to remember four Ohio college students killed a week ago when a small plane crashed just after taking off near Cleveland. Friends and family members were among the 80 people who gathered Sunday night near the crash site in Willoughby Hills. Federal officials say the pilot of the plane reported he was having trouble climbing just after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport. All four people aboard the plane were stude...More >>
    CLEVELAND (AP) - Members of a flying club held a candlelight vigil to remember four Ohio college students killed a week ago when a small plane crashed just after taking off near Cleveland. Friends and family members were among the 80 people who gathered Sunday night near the crash site in Willoughby Hills. Federal officials say the pilot of the plane reported he was having trouble climbing just after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport. All four people aboard the plane were stude...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms