BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Stolen guns were used in the deaths of five of the six officers killed in the state last year. Some are saying this is a signal for the laws to change.
“Seeing the history of not only what has taken place, not just in this county, but across the state with stolen weapons, I think it’s an issue that needs to be addressed,” Alabama State Senator Gerald Allen, Republican of Tuscaloosa, told WBRC on Monday.
Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb called on legislators to increase penalties in these cases in December.
“It’s a problem in that there’s virtually no distinction with the theft of guns, burglary of guns, with any other theft or burglary,” he explained during a press conference.
Now Senator Allen is drawing up a bill that would create a separate Class B Theft of Gun charge with mandatory time to serve, create a separate receiving stolen firearm felony with mandatory time to serve, and remove firearms cases from sentencing guidelines.
There could also be a statewide application for Tuscaloosa County’s gun-present policy.
“When a stolen weapon is used in a violent crime. I think it is time for us to take another look at the current state code and see what we can do to add more strength, add some teeth to make it a harsher policy,” says Allen.
Alabama’s state legislature goes into session on February 3. Allen expects there to be plenty discussion about his bill as it moves through the legislative process.