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10 year prison term proposed for using a gun during a crime

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State Senator Rick Jones wants more prison time for those who use a gun during a crime.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) State Senator Rick Jones wants more prison time for those who use a gun during a crime. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) -

Gun violence is out of control in communities all over Southeast Michigan, but a new law is in the works that could make a big difference.

"We want to send a strong message out there everywhere across Michigan, if you bring a gun to your crime, you're doing hard time. Period," said state Senator Rick Jones.

He is turning those words into law. Right now, using a gun during a crime will earn you two years behind bars.

Jones is proposing, "An automatic ten years in prison for using a gun during a crime. We have to send a strong message. We're not doing it right now with this two year law. The legislation would require 25 to life if you harm or kill somebody with a gun."

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee say a law like that is exactly what the streets need.

"These are the kind of tools that are helpful to keep the worst off the street, the ones that are pulling the guns and pulling the triggers," said Bouchard.

"You have to start to take the incentive out of carrying a gun.  When you're only looking at two to three years simply by carrying a gun, we have not sent a strong enough message," Godbee remarked.

Community leaders like Pastor Douglas Jones say they'll do whatever it takes to make sure this proposed law makes it to their neighborhoods.

"If we don't take these people off the street, then the streets become even more dangerous. People are not able to go to church, not able to enjoy their communities. So very, very important, and it's important that we don't slap people on the hands anymore. It's important they really feel the pinch."

This legislation is still being drafted, but if it makes it through the House and the Senate, it could become a law by the end of this year.

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