State Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) announced the passage of legislation today to protect Ohioans from repeat offenders that commit the majority of violent crimes around the state. The bill also provides law enforcement with new tools to keep violent criminals off the streets. 

"This bill will go a long way toward protecting Ohioans from the worst of the worst threats to the public safety," said Eklund. "Violent career criminals must be taken and kept off our streets."

Senate Bill 97, better known as the Violent Career Criminal Act, would classify any adult convicted of at least two violent felonies in the past eight years as a "Violent Career Criminal." If any offender with this designation commits another felony, the bill would require an additional 2-11 years of mandatory prison time. For additional crimes involving firearms, it would increase prison time by 50 percent.

The legislation incorporates findings from the Violent Crimes with Guns Advisory Group, convened by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in 2011 to study the problem of gun violence and recommend more effective prevention strategies. A report commissioned by the group found that people with two or more violent felony offenses make up 0.91 percent of Ohio adult population yet commit 57 percent of Ohio's violent felonies. 

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

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