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Raleigh, N.C. – Yesterday, Representatives Bill Brawley, Nelson Dollar, and Cody Henson filed House Bill 703 which would increase the penalties for felony possession of a firearm and breaking or entering. Currently, felony possession of a firearm is considered a Class G felony. The bill would change the infraction to a Class C felony punishable by up to 192 months in prison.

“This bill will help to protect North Carolina’s families,” stated Rep. Brawley. “We want to make those who skirt the law in order to obtain a firearm are punished to the severest extent possible.”

A 2015 study from Duke University professor Philip Cook found that of crimes committed using a firearm, nearly 97 percent of the firearms used were obtained illegally.

“Stolen weapons are more and more frequently being used in crimes,” said Rep. Henson, a freshman representative from District 113 and a Marine Corps reservist. “As a Marine and a gun owner, I’m proud to support this bill to protect those who legally exercise their right to protect themselves and penalize those who decide to arm themselves illegally.”

The bill also reclassifies breaking or entering with intent to commit a felony or larceny, or to terrorize or injure the occupant of a building, from a Class H felony to a Class G felony. New language would classify crimes where a perpetrator intentionally breaking into a building that is occupied with the intent to commit a felony or larceny a Class D felony, punishable by up to 160 months in prison.

“We’re committed to protecting the people of our state and giving them the opportunity to seek justice,” stated Rep. Dollar. “Breaking into someone’s home while they’re inside with the intent to harm them deserves a harsh penalty. The thought of what the consequences may be should deter individuals from committing a crime.”

 

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