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Kustoff and Cotton Introduce Legislation to Keep Hardened Criminals off the Streets

May 20, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Representative David Kustoff (TN-08) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act of 2019-H.R. 2837. This legislation will protect Americans from repeat offenders by reinstating an important tool for prosecutors to seek enhanced penalties against violent, serial criminals.

This legislation has been supported by the National Sherriff’s Association and the National Association of Police Organizations.

Our law enforcement works around the clock to keep our streets safe.  The least we can do to aid them in their mission is to ensure that fewer violent criminals are released back on the streets. This bill is a common-sense measure that gives prosecutors the tools to keep hardened criminals behind bars. I look forward to swiftly passing this measure to not only protect the American people but to help our men and women in law enforcement,” said Rep. David Kustoff.

"Violent, repeat criminals should be behind bars, not roaming the streets threatening law-abiding citizens. The Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act will give back federal prosecutors the tool they need to lock up hardened, repeat offenders,” said Sen. Cotton.



The Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act of 2019 would do away with the concepts of "violent felony" and "serious drug offense" and replace them with a single category of "serious felony." A serious felony would be any crime punishable by 10 years or more. By defining "serious felony" solely based on the potential term of imprisonment, the bill would address the vagueness issue and remove any discretion or doubt about which offenses qualify.

The bill would give federal prosecutors an additional tool to go after the most dangerous, career criminals and would not apply to low-level offenders. Specifically, the Armed Career Criminal Act would still apply only in a case where a felon who possesses a firearm --in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) --has previously been convicted three times of serious felonies, which must have been committed on different occasions.