Project Safe Nashville and Gun CrimeRecently, Donald Q. Cochran, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, announced a new plan with Nashville Mayor David Briley to fight gun crime. The plan or initiative, according to Cochran, “is a proactive, forensics-based, data-driven strategy to reduce violent crime by focusing on the rapid collection, analysis, and investigation of gun-crime evidence such as recovered shell casings and guns.”

The initiative, called Project Safe Nashville, includes the following agencies:

  • The Nashville Mayor’s Office
  • The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD)
  • The US Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • The Nashville District Attorney’s Office
  • The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  • The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

These agencies will work together to accurately “identify active trigger pullers, disrupt their criminal activity, and prevent future violence…. They are chasing the guns that the evidence tells [them] are involved in shootings.”

According to Mayor Briley’s office, the initiative will focus on:

  • Better coordination among the various agencies in tracking the guns that are used in crimes
  • Combined federal and state support
  • “A more seamless and aggressive approach to investigating and prosecuting those who commit gun-related crimes.”

The MNDP’s Crime Unit will use the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) to track shell casings when weapons are used in local crimes. They will then try to connect those weapons to other local crimes with the aim of discovering patterns of criminal activity. “Based on a 2018 study by Rutgers University, when two shooting events are linked by ballistics evidence through NIBIN, 50% of the time a third shooting event will happen within 90 days.”

Mayor Briley hopes the initiative will stop future gun crimes and help in the prosecution of people who uses guns to commit violent crimes – at both the state and federal levels. The initiative will also be funded with a grant from the Department of Justice Safe Neighborhoods.

Representation for defendants charged with gun crimes

Under the law, “It is an offense to possess a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony,” and to employ the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, in the attempt to commit a felony, or in the “flight or escape” of that felony or attempted felony.

Not all felonies, however, are considered “dangerous” ones. In Tennessee, the following felonious offenses are designated as “dangerous” within the context of this law:

  • Attempt to commit first degree murder
  • Attempt to commit second degree murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Carjacking
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated burglary
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine
  • Certain controlled substance crimes

Applicable defense for people facing gun firearm-related crimes and enhancements

If you are charged with a felony, you face serious prison time, fines, and loss of freedoms and rights if you are convicted. If, however, you have a firearm or weapon on your person at the time of your arrest, the penalties can be far more severe. In order to reduce the charges against you, or have them dropped completely, your attorney may argue for:

  • Suppression of illegal obtained evidence
  • A showing that the dangerous felony was not committed
  • A showing that the weapon was not used
  • A showing that the prosecution hasn’t proved each element of the charges – beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Other defenses which depend on the facts of the case

State and federal prosecutors place a high priority on solving crimes that involve the use of a gun. Nashville attorney Perry A. Craft understands how prosecutors may act or demand. To speak with a criminal defense lawyer if you’ve been charged with a gun crime or any crime, call the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC today at 615.239.1899, or use our contact form to make an appointment.

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