Bipartisan bills take on problem of deadly drive-by shootings

LANSING?Drive-by shooters would face stiffer penalties under legislation introduced Thursday by Sens. Jim Marleau and Jim Ananich and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The measures come at the request of law enforcement officials, who are working to prevent the increased occurrence of innocent families and children falling victim to violent crimes in many communities across the state.

“The broad support from both sides of the aisle shows that this is an urgent problem and one we can take action on,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Our brave men and women in law enforcement should have the strongest tools available to keep people out of harm’s way, and this legislation is an important piece of that effort.”

Senate Bills 582 and 583 would increase the penalties for drive-by shootings by authorizing life sentences to anyone convicted of intentionally discharging a firearm from a vehicle into a home, in the event that the victim is murdered. The bills also authorize an increase in the maximum years of imprisonment and fines associated with the crime if there was intent to harm and/or the person is injured.
 
“We must work together to ensure safer communities if we want to secure an economic turnaround and the opportunity for investment and jobs,” said Ananich, D-Flint. “These measures are part of the strong, comprehensive approach to public safety that is needed to get results.”

The legislation is expected to be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as next week.