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Reno Gazette-Journal Investigates How Plea Deals Might Weaken Gun Laws
Reno Gazette-Journal Investigates How Plea Deals Might Weaken Gun Laws

AIR DATE: March 22, 2013

An RGJ investigation into gun purchases reveals plea deals often undermine gun laws in Nevada. In one case, a northern Nevada woman bought 32 guns in Reno for a man who was wanted for murder in California. Her punishment was five months probation. According to the RGJ's investigation of the 112 firearms cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Reno from 2008 to 2012, only two went to trial and about 95 percent of those were resolved with plea deals. Why are so few cases going to trial? And do plea deals lessen the effect of gun laws in Nevada? We'll talk with the RGJ's investigator about the specific cases involved.


Martha Bellisle, Reporter, Reno Gazette Journal

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    Since nationally 97% of Federal cases are resolved by plea bargain and that generally involves reducing the number of counts or charges, I am not quite sure what her point is. While I would agree with her other point that the straw purchasers should get more punishment, that is Congress's fault not the US Attorney. Except for the felons identified in her story (that got long prison terms), the other defendants charges would have resulted in less than 2 years (using the required Federal sentencing guidelines)even if they went to trial. Yes imprisonment would be harsher (and deserved) but 5 years probation actually keeps them in the system longer.
    Scott MillerMar 20, 2013 12:36:25 PM
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