INDIANAPOLIS – 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 (http://indy.st/1jTQTgQ ) that Merritt says Indiana needs to strengthen its penalties against violent offenders “to keep them off our streets.”