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Dothans Mayor Mark Saliba Supports Bill

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The mayors of Alabama’s 10 largest cities have endorsed a bill to increase the penalty for firing a gun into an occupied home, business, or vehicle.

The mayors cited two tragedies that happened in January: The death of a 15-year-old girl during a shootout on Interstate 165 in Mobile in January that also injured a 9-year-old, and the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old boy while he was getting a haircut in Bessemer.

In a press release, the mayors said they support the bill by Rep. Barbara Drummond, D-Mobile, which would increase the penalty from a Class B felony to a Class A felony. Class B felonies carry sentences of two to 20 years, while Class A felonies carry sentences of 10 years to 99 years, or life.

The bill applies to firing guns into an occupied dwelling, building, railroad locomotive, railroad car, aircraft, automobile, truck, or watercraft. The House Judiciary Committee has approved the bill, putting it in position for consideration by the House.

The Alabama Big 10 Mayors are Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling, Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison Mayor Paul Finley, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.

“As mayors, fighting crime and working to keep our communities safe is always our top priority,” the mayors said in a press release. “Too often, we see gun violence resulting in innocent victims, including children. As a state, we should do all we can to hold those responsible accountable.

“It isn’t the only part of the solution, but increasing penalties for criminals is a key part of curbing gun violence in our communities. Actions have consequences, and the consequences for firing blindly into homes and cars should be met with a strong response from prosecutors and law enforcement.”

Credit – Mark Cason