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Opinion

Sat., March 15, 2014

Strengthen firearm felonies

To deal with those who abuse the Second Amendment, and with felons back on the streets despite several convictions, Washington needs to increase the penalties for all felonies and reclassify the felony levels for firearm offenses.

Washington now classifies felonies as A, B and C. First, change the penalties: A, from a maximum of life and/or $50,000 fine to a minimum of 20 years to a maximum of life and/or $100,000 fine; B, from a maximum of 10 years and/or $20,000 fine to a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 years and/or a $50,000 fine; and C, from a maximum of five years and/or a $10,000 fine to a minimum of five and a maximum of 10 years and/or $25,000 fine.

Then the state should reclassify: “unlawful possession of a firearm” from B or C to A or B; and “delivering a firearm to an ineligible person” from C to B.

By establishing minimum sentences, increasing maximum sentences and reclassifying “unlawful possession” and “delivering,” those who violate gun laws will be punished, judges will be required to send convicted felons to prison for a minimum number of years, and public safety will be enhanced.

William Mahaney

Spokane



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