Hawley, Cotton, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Reduce Gun Violence

Friday, June 10, 2022

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced the Stop Gun Criminals Act, legislation to increase penalties for felons who illegally possess or use firearms. Text of the bill can be found here.

“Violent criminals have no business being anywhere around guns. If they get them, they should go to prison even longer than they currently do—keeping law-abiding Americans safe demands no less,” said Senator Hawley. “And while we’re at it, it’s past time to ensure prosecutors have the tools they need to put repeat offenders behind bars for a long time. This bill does both.”

“Violent felons commit the vast majority of gun crimes and should be held accountable for their actions. Instead of releasing criminals onto the streets to commit more crime, our bill will establish mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders,” said Senator Cotton. 

The Stop Gun Criminals Act would: 

  • Set a minimum sentence of five years for illegally possessing a gun.
  • Increase the mandatory minimum sentence for criminals who use a gun in the commission of another crime from five years to seven years.
  • For such criminals who brandish the gun during the crime, the minimum would increase from seven years to 10 years.
  • For such criminals who actually fire their weapon during the crime, the minimum would increase from 10 years to 15 years.
  • Make a technical correction to update the “residual clause” from the Armed Career Criminal Act, in light of recent Supreme Court precedent.