Memphis Mayor Strickland calls for tougher road rage laws

Memphis Mayor Strickland calls for tougher road rage laws

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Could the solution to stopping road rage shootings in Memphis be at the state capitol in Nashville?

According to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, it is, and he said enough is enough.

Strickland thinks people might reconsider before shooting at or into cars if they know it means mandatory jail time.

"They fired the shots and took off," said Chris Mullins about the road rage incident near Memphis Zoo when a family was trying to go to see Zoo Lights last month.

The shots were fired into a car from Arkansas with children in it. Everyone survived.

In August, an argument between drivers in Germantown ended with shots fired. Nancy Brogdon told police she fired the shots into another car.

In October a shooting on interstate I-40 near North Watkins sent a man and a teenage girl to the hospital.

“We got to take this seriously,” Strickland said. “We need the message to be clear, you use a gun you will be dealt with, you will be arrested, and you will be put in jail.”

Strickland wants a law requiring mandatory jail time for road rage incidents that involve shooting.

A nonprofit group ranks Memphis the worst in the nation when it comes to road rage. We’ve reported on one shooting after the other involving road rage shootings.

Tennessee State Representative G.A. Hardaway from Memphis agrees the shootings are out of hand, but he’s not going for any mandatory sentencing.

"I’m not supporting anything that’s strictly jail time, mandatory jail time,” Hardaway said.

Hardaway wants a more comprehensive plan. "If he wants to put together a group that will take a comprehensive look at violence gun violence street violence, I’ll be happy to participate,” Hardaway said.

The mayor said he would be open to that pointing out an incident Tuesday afternoon at a Raleigh Walmart where shots were fired in the parking lot.

"I think when you fire a gun, there ought to be serious consequences,” Strickland said.

The mayor's plan is a work in progress. It hasn't been put together yet and his team will have to get input from legislators and others.

Strickland said it likely won’t be fully debated until February or March.

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