Calls To Strengthen Indiana Gun Laws

By Ian Hoover- 21Alive

July 8, 2014 Updated Jul 8, 2014 at 5:22 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- There are calls to attach additional prison time on sentences for crimes involving firearms.

Republican Jim Merritt of Indianapolis announced yesterday that he plans to reintroduce a bill that would increase the additional time for crimes involving a firearm to 20 years.

Currently, the state law calls for 5 years to automatically be added to to sentences and some lawmakers feel that is just not enough.

Indiana Senate Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) believes the state Legislature has given local governments the tools to fight against growing crime in the state.

"We do give tools to local governments they have to chose to use them or not. So we have to look at that to see who is utilizing that and who is not including the city of Indianapolis, to see if there is flexibility there that they need in addition to what we have given them, we would certainly consider that," says Long.

Long believes the additional sentencing time is something the state legislature should consider. However, he says that other avenues should also be taken to address the overall problem of Indiana's growing violent crime rate.

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