A bill introduced by Senator Jack Latvala will keep violent offenders who have prior convictions and who commit a crime with a firearm behind bars longer. Senate Bill 1272 entitled Possession of a Firearm or Destructive Device During the Commission of an Offense passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Thursday.
Currently, there is an exception to the mandatory sentence under the 10-20-Life law which gives a lighter sentence of three years to a person who is convicted of carrying a firearm while committing a crime. The bill proposed by Senator Latvala changes the law so that previously convicted offenders will have a 10-year mandatory sentence if convicted for committing another violent crime. Only offenders who have no prior conviction of possessing a firearm while committing a crime will receive a three year sentence.
“Violent felons who prey on Floridians and our many tourists must be incarcerated longer than three years. This bill will save lives,” Senator Latvala stated.