Press release from the Tennessee Republican House Caucus; March 27, 2012:
Somerville Representative Guides Two of Governor’s Anti-Crime Priorities to Passage of General Assembly
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Legislation to keep Tennesseans safe from criminal gang activity is on its way to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature. Representative Barrett Rich (R—Somerville) was given the responsibility of guiding two of Haslam’s top anti-crime priorities through the House of Representatives because of his deep understanding and professional experience in law enforcement matters. The key bills passed the House unanimously Monday evening.
The first bill, House Bill 2390, establishes enhanced punishment for crimes of force or violence committed while acting in concert with two or more other persons. The second piece of legislation, House Bill 2388, takes a hard line against criminals with a felony history by increasing their punishment for unlawful possession of a firearm.
“These bills are a vital addition to the crime-fighting tools law enforcement personnel use to keep our streets safe,” said Rep. Rich. “In fact, I believe as a result of these changes, Tennesseans will be safer. We have a problem with gangs in this State and, this week, the General Assembly took a strong stand against criminal activity. I’m proud to have carried this legislation and be part of Governor Haslam’s efforts to move Tennessee forward.”
Rep. Rich, who serves as the House Majority Whip, is a former member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and is viewed by his colleagues as an expert on law enforcement issues. Rich serves on both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Government Operations Committee where he can advocate for reforms that will protect the rights of Tennesseans and combat criminals.
According to the Governor’s office, the bills are part of Haslam’s 2012 legislative package that includes a series of bills that were announced last week to address public safety issues including prescription drug abuse, tougher sentencing for certain types of gang-related crimes, tougher sentencing for gun possession by those with prior violent felony convictions, and mandatory jail time for repeat domestic violence offenders.