Jefferson County

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Bill would increase jail time for gun-related felonies

Updated: Wednesday, April 2 2014, 03:44 PM EDT

wtov9.com

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio - Local lawmakers and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla are looking to crack down on violent criminals by introducing a bill to enforce stricter sentencing for people who use a gun while committing a felony.

The bill is brand new, having been introduced last week to the state legislature.

Currently, there is a three-year mandatory prison term in place for any person who uses a firearm while committing a felony. Abdalla said that number should be bumped to 10 years.

He said he's been in talks with state Representative Jack Cera (Belmont County) and Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) for several years helping to make this bill a reality.

It states there would be a mandatory 10-year conviction if the person displays or brandishes a firearm, indicates they have it in their possession, or uses it to facilitate a felony.

At a time when police departments are having to do more with less, Abdalla says this bill would be beneficial.

"There's just not enough manpower to go out there and hit the streets like you would like to hit them," Abdalla said. "But if this law goes into effect, we're gonna keep that criminal off the street or as long as we can, and by doing that, we're protecting the public."

Cera's office is waiting for the bill to go through the committee process.

Bill would increase jail time for gun-related felonies


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