Dropped Gun Charges Spark Call for Legislation

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Marion County prosecutor is seeking legislation that would reduce the number of times prosecutors bargain away gun charges.

Scott Newman's proposal to beef up the serious violent felon law comes amid an Indianapolis Star review that found prosecutors dismissed more than 3,000 gun charges from 2009 to June of this year. Half of those were felonies.

Possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon was dismissed in 41 percent of cases.

In at least four cases, charges of possession by a serious violent felon were dropped against someone who later was charged with a gun-related homicide.

Prosecutors say they have many reasons for dropping a gun charge as part of a plea agreement but still use the serious violent felon law regularly.