In their last day before adjournment for the year, Tennessee legislators approved a “Crooks with Guns” bill that adds mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The gun bill, sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris, and Rep. John DeBerry (D-Memphis), is the centerpiece of a crime package this year totaling more than $37 million. It will add mandatory sentences of 3, 5, 6 or 10 years to the existing sentences of 12 dangerous felonies if a firearm is either present or fired. At least 85 percent of the enhanced prison terms must be served in addition to the sentences for the underlying crime, without parole. The budget also funds 32 more prosecutors statewide.