State Senator Jim Merritt
A measure meant to give more jail time to people convicted of using a gun in a violent crime unanimously passed the Indiana House Thursday. Republican Indianapolis Senator Jim Merritt's bill would allow Indiana judges to add between five and twenty years to a sentence. As amended in the House, Senate Bill 169 also urges legislative study on how to reduce firearms violence in Indiana. The measure now goes back to the Senate for final legislative review, “The rate of gun crime in Indianapolis and other areas of the state is far too high, and Hoosier families are paying the price by losing loved ones,” Merritt said. “Reckless, criminal gun use deserves serious jail time. Pulling the trigger should trigger more time in prison.” According to the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office, 82 percent of all homicides committed in Indianapolis in 2013 were shootings, and 42 percent of homicide suspects had a previous criminal weapons arrest.