LANSING, Mich. - Michigan lawmakers want to get tougher on drive-by shooters.
Legislation approved unanimously Tuesday by the state Senate would increase prison time for people who intentionally shoot from a vehicle.
Those convicted now get up to four years in prison for endangering another's safety. The bipartisan bills would stiffen the penalty to 10 years in prison.
Maximum sentences would be higher if victims are injured or killed, and judges would have the option of sentencing defendants to longer terms running consecutively with other convictions.
"It's been a steady problem, but it seems to be increasing some in the summer months. Innocent people are being killed and that's just not acceptable," said Senator Jim Ananich, one of the sponsors.
Legislators say innocent families deserve to stay out of harm's way in cities such as Detroit, where drive-by shootings are a significant problem. The bills now go to the House.
"It seems like crime is on the rise. Hopefully we can do something about it. Hopefully this legislation will send a message," said Sgt. Dwayne Gill, a legislative liaison with Michigan State Police.
2820 East Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48912