Bill Text
104th Congress (1995-1996)
H.R.1488.IH


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H.R.1488 -- Citizens' Protection From Violent Crime Act of 1995 (Introduced in House - IH)

HR 1488 IH

104th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1488

To control crime by increasing penalties for armed violent criminals.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

APRIL 7, 1995

Mr. BARR (for himself, Mr. MCCOLLUM, Mr. BRYANT of Tennessee, Mrs. CHENOWETH, Mr. STOCKMAN, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. BREWSTER, Mr. TAUZIN, and Mr. VOLKMER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To control crime by increasing penalties for armed violent criminals.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Citizens' Protection From Violent Crime Act of 1995'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:

      (1) One of the primary duties of government is to protect its citizens from armed violent criminals. America's cherished liberty and the social and economic prosperity of its communities are dependent upon government's ability to maintain public safety.

      (2) The fulfillment of government's responsibility is not achieved by gun control laws. Criminals, by definition, operate outside the law and routinely acquire firearms when they so desire.

      (3) The only true effect of gun control laws is to disarm citizens who have no intention of harming others except in the course of self-defense. These laws also have the effect of criminalizing the mere possession of certain types of guns even when such possession is for entirely lawful purposes.

      (4) The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees citizens the right to possess firearms. This right is grounded in the need for self-defense.

      (5) People in the United States frequently use firearms to defend themselves because police cannot always protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect, individual citizens.

SEC. 3. MANDATORY PRISON TERMS FOR POSSESSING, BRANDISHING, OR DISCHARGING A FIREARM OR DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE DURING A STATE CRIME THAT IS A SERIOUS VIOLENT FELONY OR SERIOUS DRUG OFFENSE.

    Section 924(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (5) and (6), respectively;

      (2) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

    `(1) A person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or serious drug trafficking crime which provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States--

      `(A) possesses a firearm, shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for the crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, be sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years;

      `(B) brandishes a firearm, shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for the crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, be sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years; or

      `(C) discharges a firearm with the intent to injure another person, shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for the crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, be sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years;

    except that if the firearm is a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, such additional sentence shall be imprisonment for 5 years more than the term of imprisonment that would otherwise be imposed under this paragraph, and if the firearm is a machinegun or destructive device or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, such additional sentence shall be imprisonment for 30 years.

    `(2)(A) A person who, during and in relation to a serious violent felony or serious drug offense (including a serious violent felony or serious drug offense that provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of any State--

      `(i) possesses a firearm, shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for the serious violent felony or serious drug offense, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 5 years;

      `(ii) brandishes a firearm, shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for the serious violent felony or serious drug offense, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 10 years; or

      `(iii) discharges a firearm with the intent to injure another person, shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for the serious violent felony or serious drug offense, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 20 years;

    except that if the firearm is a machinegun or destructive device or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, such additional sentence shall be imprisonment for not less than 30 years.

    `(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to the conduct of a person in defense of person or property during the course of a crime committed by another person (including the arrest or attempted arrest of such other person during or immediately after the commission of the crime), unless the person engaged in or participated in criminal conduct that gave rise to the criminal conduct of such other person.

    `(C) It is the intent of the Congress that--

      `(i) this paragraph shall be used to supplement but not supplant the efforts of State and local prosecutors in prosecuting serious violent felonies and serious drug offenses that could be prosecuted under State law; and

      `(ii) the Attorney General shall give due deference to the interest that a State or local prosecutor has in prosecuting a person under State law.

    `(3) In the case of the second or subsequent conviction of a person under this subsection--

      `(A) if the person possessed a firearm during and in relation to such second or subsequent crime of violence, drug trafficking crime, serious violent felony, or serious drug offense, the person shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for such second or subsequent offense, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 20 years;

      `(B) if the person brandished a firearm during and in relation to such second or subsequent crime of violence, drug trafficking crime, serious violent felony, or serious drug offense, the person shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for such second or subsequent offense, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 25 years; or

      `(C) if the person discharged a firearm with the intent to injure another person during and in relation to such second or subsequent crime of violence, drug trafficking crime, serious violent felony, or serious drug offense, the person shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for such second or subsequent offense, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 30 years;

    except that if the firearm is a machinegun or destructive device or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, the person shall, in addition to the sentence imposed for such second or subsequent offense, be sentenced to life imprisonment.

    `(4)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall not impose a probationary sentence on any person convicted of a violation of this subsection, nor shall a term of imprisonment imposed under this subsection run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment including that imposed for the crime of violence, drug trafficking crime, serious violent felony, or serious drug offense in which the firearm was used.

    `(B) No person sentenced under this subsection shall be released for any reason whatsoever during a term of imprisonment imposed under this subsection.'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

    `(7) For purposes of this subsection, the term `serious violent felony' shall have the meaning given such term by section 3559(c)(2)(F)(i).

    `(8) For purposes of this subsection, the term `serious drug offense' means an offense under State law that, had the offense been prosecuted in a court of the United

States, would have been punishable under section 401(b)(1)(B) or section 408 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)(B), 848), or section 1010(b)(2) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960(b)(2)).'.

SEC. 4. MANDATORY PENALTIES FOR VIOLENT FELONS.

    Section 924(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: `The court shall sentence a person convicted of an offense under section 922(g)(1) of this title to not less than 5 years in prison if the person has a prior conviction for a serious violent felony (as defined in section 3559(c)(2)(F)), and to not less than 10 years in prison if the person has 2 such prior convictions.'.

SEC. 5. SERIOUS JUVENILE DRUG OFFENSES AS ARMED CAREER CRIMINAL ACT PREDICATES.

    Section 924(e)(2)(A) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking `or' at the end of clause (i);

      (2) in clause (ii), by striking the semicolon and inserting `or which, if it had been prosecuted as a violation of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) at the time of the offense, and because of the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved, would have been punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more; or'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

          `(iii) any act of juvenile delinquency that if committed by an adult would be a serious drug offense described in this paragraph;'.

SEC. 6. PRETRIAL DETENTION FOR POSSESSION OF FIREARMS OR EXPLOSIVES BY CONVICTED VIOLENT FELONS.

    Section 3156(a)(4) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking `or' at the end of subparagraph (B);

      (2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (C) and inserting a semicolon; and

      (3) by adding after subparagraph (C) the following:

        `(D) an offense that is a violation of section 842(i) of this title (relating to possession of explosives by convicted felons); or

        `(E) an offense that is a violation of section 922(g)(1) of this title (relating to possession of firearms by convicted felons), if the offender has previously been convicted of such a violation or of any other offense described in this paragraph.'.

SEC. 7. ARMED VIOLENT CRIMINAL APPREHENSION DIRECTIVE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General of the United States shall establish an armed violent criminal apprehension program consistent with the following requirements:

      (1) Each United States attorney shall designate at least 1 assistant United States attorney to prosecute armed violent criminals.

      (2) Each United States attorney shall establish an armed violent criminal apprehension task force comprised of appropriate law enforcement representatives. The task force shall develop strategies for removing armed violent criminals from the streets, taking into consideration--

        (A) the importance of severe punishment in deterring armed violent crime;

        (B) the effectiveness of Federal and State laws pertaining to apprehension and prosecution of armed violent criminals;

        (C) the resources available to each law enforcement agency participating in the task force;

        (D) the nature and extent of the violent crime occurring in the district for which the United States attorney is appointed; and

        (E) the principle of limited Federal involvement in the prosecution of crimes traditionally prosecuted in State and local jurisdictions.

      (3) Not less frequently than monthly, the Attorney General shall require each United States attorney to report to the Department of Justice the number of defendants charged with, or convicted of, violating section 922(g) or 924 of title 18, United States Code, in the district for which the United States attorney is appointed.

      (4) Not less frequently than twice annually, the Attorney General shall submit to the Congress a compilation of the information received by the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (3) and a report on all waivers granted under subsection (b).

    (b) WAIVER AUTHORITY-

      (1) REQUEST FOR WAIVER- A United States attorney may request the Attorney General to waive

the requirements of subsection (a) with respect to the United States attorney.

      (2) PROVISION OF WAIVER- The Attorney General may waive the requirements of subsection (a) pursuant to a request made under paragraph (1), in accordance with guidelines which shall be established by the Attorney General. In establishing the guidelines, the Attorney General shall take into consideration the number of assistant United States attorneys in the office of the United States attorney making the request and the level of violent crime committed in the district for which the United States attorney is appointed.

    (c) ARMED VIOLENT CRIMINAL DEFINED- As used in this section, the term `armed violent criminal' means a person who is accused of violating section 922(g)(1) of title 18, United States Code, having been previously convicted of a violent crime, or who is accused of violating section 924 of such title.

    (d) SUNSET- This section shall have no force or effect after the 5-year period that begins 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 8. RIGHT TO USE FIREARMS IN DEFENSE OF SELF OR OTHER PERSONS WITHIN A HOME; ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) REAFFIRMATION OF RIGHT- A person not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm shall have the right to use firearms within a home in defense of self or other persons against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury.

    (b) FIREARM DEFINED- As used in subsection (a), the term `firearm' means--

      (1) a shotgun (as defined in section 921(a)(5) of title 18, United States Code);

      (2) a rifle (as defined in section 921(a)(7) of title 18, United States Code); or

      (3) a handgun (as defined in section 10 of Public Law 99-408).

    (c) ENFORCEMENT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- A person whose right under subsection (a) is violated in any manner by any other person or by any government may bring an action in any United States district court against such other person or government for damages, injunctive relief, and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.

      (2) AUTHORITY TO AWARD A REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEE- In an action brought under paragraph (1), the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs.

      (3) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS- An action may not be brought under paragraph (1) after the 5-year period that begins with the date the violation described in paragraph (1) is discovered.

SEC. 9. REPEAL OF THE BAN ON SEMIAUTOMATIC FIREARMS AND THE BAN ON LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (v) and (w) and by striking the appendix.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS AND REPEALS-

      (1) Section 921(a) of such title is amended by striking paragraphs (30) and (31).

      (2) Section 924(a)(1)(B) of such title is amended by striking `(r), (v), or (w)' and inserting `or (r)'.

      (3) Section 923(i) of such title is amended by striking the last 2 sentences.

      (4) Section 110104 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (18 U.S.C. 921 note) is hereby repealed.

      (5) Section 110501 of such Act (28 U.S.C. 994 note) is hereby repealed.

    (c) EFFECTIVE DATES-

      (1) RETROACTIVE EFFECT GENERALLY- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this section shall take effect as if such amendments had been included in subtitle A of title XI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 on the date of the enactment of such Act. Any liability, penalty, or forfeiture incurred by reason of any amendment made by section 110102 or 110103 of such Act is hereby extinguished, and any action or prosecution for the enforcement of any such liability, penalty, or forfeiture shall not be sustained.

      (2) EXCEPTION- The amendment made by subsection (b)(5) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.




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