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Senate Panel OKs Tougher Prison Terms For Ohio Gun Crimes

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The bill approved Wednesday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee is aimed at reducing violent gun crimes

Ohioans who repeatedly use guns to commit crimes could face tougher penalties under a new proposed law.

The bill, approved Wednesday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, is aimed at reducing violent gun crimes. It would impose longer prison sentences for certain repeat offenders convicted of violent crimes involving a firearm.

The measure also would ban individuals defined as violent career criminals from having guns.

The nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission estimates the bill could raise prison costs between $11 million and $50 million annually as longer prison terms are imposed.

A similar measure failed during the last legislative session as it ran into efforts to address Ohio's growing prison population.