Skip to content

Senator Collins Co-Sponsors Package to Crack Down on Violent Crime

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined a group of 24 of her colleagues in introducing a broad package to clarify and strengthen violent crime laws related to homicide, 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.


“Americans deserve to feel safe in their communities, whether they are visiting local restaurants and shops, walking through their neighborhoods, or spending time with their families at home. Over the past several years, however, violent crime has surged across the country, shattering this sense of security for many individuals and families,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation would support the brave law enforcement officers who protect our communities and strengthen the tools that prosecutors need to keep dangerous criminals off the streets.”


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, particularly in urban areas, are on the rise, 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;
  • Abolishes an outdated rule that prohibits perpetrators of violent crime from being charged with murder if the victim succumbs to injuries sustained by that violent crime 366 days after the attack;
  • 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.


“NDAA is excited to endorse the Combating Violence and Dangerous Crime Act, an important effort to fix criminal provisions in Title 18 of the Federal Code which ensures prosecutors have the tools needed to hold bad actors accountable. We look forward to working alongside the Senate Judiciary Committee to adopt these commonsense measures to improve public safety,” said Nelson Bunn, Executive Director, National District Attorneys Association


Along with Senator Collins, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Kennedy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).


Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act