Indiana House backs tougher penalities for gun crimes

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana House has advanced a measure allowing judges to impose tougher sentences for anyone convicted of using a gun in a violent crime.

The House approved a proposal from Republican Sen. Jim Merritt of Indianapolis that would allow a court to add between 5 and 20 years to a sentence in a violent gun crime.

The measure would also make it illegal to provide a gun to someone who plans to commit a crime.

House members amended the bill Thursday to also establish a study committee that would review ways to reduce gun violence across Indiana. The Senate earlier approved a similar version of the bill.

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