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NASHVILLE — State Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) is pushing crime reforms to reduce gun violence in Tennessee. The Shelby County legislator unveiled several proposals on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
“It has become imperative that we as leaders of our communities find a way to stem or control violent crime,” Parkinson said. “I am writing to request your support for proposed legislation that will assist us in reducing gun crime in Memphis and Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee.”
In collaboration with others, Parkinson is submitting three bills; two that would affect minors being supplied with guns and one that would affect anyone who uses a gun in the commission of a crime. As written, law-abiding gun owners, permit holders and responsible gun dealers will not be affected by the reforms.
“We anticipate that the proposed legislation will not only take the bad guys off the streets of our communities, but will also serve as a psychological deterrent to those that are considering supplying weapons illegally and using a gun in the commission of a crime in Tennessee,” Parkinson said.
The main goals of the gun violence reduction package are to:
- We can make our communities safer,
- Prevent criminal acts from being committed,
- Recruit more businesses to our communities, thus providing more opportunities for employment for our citizens,
- Send a message to criminals that we are serious about gun crime in Tennessee, and
- Send the message to the victims of gun violence and their families that they are not forgotten.
A brief summary of the legislation is included below:
Proposed legislation for “Guns being supplied to minors”
1. Increased Penalty for the Unlawful sale, loan or gift of a firearm:
This legislation increases the penalty from a Class A (not greater than eleven (11) months twenty-nine (29) days in jail or a fine not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute) misdemeanor to a Class D (not less than two (2) years nor more than twelve (12) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute) felony for any person who unlawfully sales, loans or gifts a firearm or switchblade to a minor.
Anyone who unlawfully sells, loans of gifts a firearm or switchblade to a minor, an intoxicated person, or person prohibited from possessing a firearm (i.e. – anyone convicted of the offense of stalking, drug addicted, confined to a mental institution or ineligible to receive firearms under federal law) is criminally responsible as an accomplice (criminally responsible as a party to an offense, if the offense is committed by the person’s own conduct, by the conduct of another for which the person is criminally responsible, or by both), for any crime that occurs as a result of the unlawful sale, gift or loan. Upon conviction, the defendant must serve the entire sentence of the crime.
Proposed legislation for “Guns being used in the commission of a crime”
1. Times 2 Law (X’s2 Law):
Any person convicted of a crime of violence (defined as: any degree of murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated rape, rape, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery, burglary, aggravated assault or aggravated kidnapping) with a deadly weapon (a firearm of anything designed/made/adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury) is subject to the punishment as set out by law and in addition to that punishment, the judge can impose a double sentence on the person. Parole or early release is not an option.
For more information, please call the offices of State Representative Antonio Parkinson @ 901-209-5010 in Memphis or 615-741-4575 in Nashville.
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