Sheriff Jim McDonnell sent a clear, straightforward message at a press conference Thursday: “If you are arrested and convicted for using a gun during the commission of a crime, or you are in illegal possession of a gun, you will serve your full statutory sentence in the County Jail.”
The Sheriff exercised his legal authority to prioritize inmates convicted of crimes involving gun violence because they are among those who pose the greatest threat to the community. In an overcrowded jail system which must operate under court ordered mandates regarding the inmate population, executives who oversee the nation’s largest jail system must make tough decisions daily about jail space for offenders. New information from the LASD Criminal Intelligence Bureau, and federal, state and local law enforcement partners about the rise in gun violence and gun-related threats against schools nationwide prompted Sheriff McDonnell’s decision to add more than 50 additional charges to the list of major crime offenses. Individuals convicted of these gun-related charges will serve 100% of their statutory jail sentence. The new list of both felony and misdemeanor levels includes charges such as Carjacking, Crimes Against Children, Domestic Violence, Kidnapping, Rape, and Violent Assault/Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Sheriff McDonnell made this announcement at the Hall of Justice, where he was joined by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
“A critical part of preventing gun violence is aggressively enforcing our gun laws–including demonstrating that if you break those laws, there will be consequences,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “I applaud Sheriff McDonnell for ensuring those convicted of breaking our commonsense gun laws will serve meaningful time in jail.” Sheriff McDonnell and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer are also joined by Los Angeles District Attorney, Jackie Lacey in her support.
There is never a compromise to the safety and security of the thousands of staff and students entrusted in our service. The increase of threats and gun-related violence at school reinforces our steadfast commitment of protecting those whom we love the most. Although violent crimes remain at historic, overall lows in Los Angeles County, our agency remains relentless in pursuing those who threaten our schoolchildren. The Criminal Intelligence Bureau received and reviewed 129 tips and leads related to school threats between Monday, January 1, 2018, and Friday, August 31, 2018. They learned guns were the clear weapon of choice in 64% of these leads and, in more than 80% of the cases, were the original source of the threat. The new consequential penalty of maximum jail time for those convicted of using a firearm during the commission of a crime or illegally possessing a firearm makes certain that those who use a gun will go to jail, and stay in jail, fo r 100% of their statutory sentence.