WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and a group of 18 Republican colleagues introduced a broad package to clarify and strengthen violent crime laws related to attacks on law enforcement, bank robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and other offenses. The Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act resolves discrepancies brought on by conflicting court decisions and clarifies congressional intent regarding crimes of violence and their respective penalties.
“Communities across our country continue to be plagued by an increase in violent crime,” said Senator Tillis. “This is not the time to relax our country’s crime laws, and I am proud to introduce this legislation with my colleagues to strengthen the response to this ongoing crime wave.”
Many communities across the country continue to experience steadily increasing violent crime. Murder rates increased 30 percent in 2020 and continued climbing in 2021. Carjackings are on the rise, particularly in urban areas, with some cities recording up to 400 percent spikes. Overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 last year, with fentanyl appearing in a variety of substances, including candy-flavored drugs that are marketed to children. 2021 marked the deadliest year for law enforcement since the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act addresses ambiguity and conflicting application of existing law by clarifying congressional intent without establishing sweeping new offense categories. Among other provisions, the bill:
- Clarifies that attempted bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery are punishable under the current bank robbery statute;
- Rectifies conflicting circuit court decisions that have resulted in a higher burden to charge offenses like assaulting a police officer than Congress intended;
- Increases the statutory maximum penalty for carjacking and removes a duplicative intent requirement needed to charge a carjacking offense;
- Rectifies conflicting circuit court decisions by clarifying that an attempt or conspiracy to commit an offence involving physical force meets the legal definition of a crime of violence;
- Outlaws the marketing of candy-flavored drugs to minors; and
- Establishes a new category of violent kidnapping offences, allowing for greater penalties for violent kidnapping.