Slay, Dotson back bill for tougher sentences for convicted gun offenders
By Daniel Fredman
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Gun violence in St. Louis was at the forefront of a conversation Tuesday morning.
Local leaders are banding together to come up with tougher mandatory sentences for convicted gun offenders.
There have been 92 homicides in the City of St. Louis so far in 2014 and St. Louis Police Chief Dotson says nearly all have involved the unlawful use of a gun. This new legislation would sentence even first-time offenders to at least a decade behind bars.
Senator Jamilah Nasheed says legislation is in the works to tighten the punishment for gun offenders.
“What we’re saying is enough is enough,” the senator said. “We're going to pass legislation where it would be mandatory for those with violent crimes and those with gun crimes they will serve ten years in prison.”
Through August, total crime is down in St. Louis over 2013, but murders are up by more than twenty percent. Mayor Slay and Chief Dotson said they support Senator Nasheed's push to crack down on gun violence.
“We've seen far too often criminals get off in the system and aren't held accountable or we don't get outcomes that keep the community safe,” Dotson said Tuesday.
The local leaders were joined by Donnitta Williams, whose daughter was shot in the eye in a drive-by shooting just a week ago..
“Good student. Very bright,” Williams said of her daughter. “Got shot two times at the store. It needs to stop and I’m pretty sure the street knows who did it.”
Nobody has been arrested in the case.
Chief Dotson and Mayor Slay said the new laws will make the community feel safer.