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Government and Politics


Ohio may ratchet up penalties for gun-related crimes
Ohio's AG and Franklin County prosecutor back a bill to more than double mandatory sentencing for some felons
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
From left to right: Attorney General Mike DeWine, State Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, backing tougher sentenced for felons with guns.
Courtesy of Karen Kasler
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Most violent crimes in Ohio are committed by people with at least two felony convictions.
And a bill is coming this week that seeks to lock up those criminals to cut down on gun-related crimes. The bill would double the required sentence for so-called “career criminals” who use guns in their crimes. The penalty would go from up to five years in prison to 11 years.  

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says the bills targets the small number of people who commit the most crimes.

Hear O’Brien on career criminals act

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“Less than 1 percent of the people are committing 57 percent of our violent crimes,” O’Brien said. “If you put that 1 percent in prison, what are you going to do to your violent crimes -- the crimes that threaten the families and threaten each of the urban neighborhoods?” 

Attorney General Mike DeWine says he doesn’t want to take guns from law-abiding citizens, but this bill would take violent offenders away from guns.

The legislation, which will be introduced by Columbus Sen. Jim Hughes, does not include any new regulations on background checks for gun purchases.

(Click image for larger view.)

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