Convicted felons who possess firearms and have a history of violent crime are more likely to use that firearm to commit another serious felony and should face more severe punishment to deter future action and to keep them off the street longer.
- Increases the penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm from a fourth-degree felony to a third-degree felony when:
- The offender has previously been convicted of a serious violent offense
- The court makes a specific finding that the prior felony conviction was a violent felony offense
- The court makes a specific finding that justice will be served by imposing a sentence for a third-degree felony
- The court makes a specific finding that there are substantial and compelling reasons, stated on the record, for increasing the sentence