Sen. Latvala bill will protect the public from violent felons

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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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.