2005-12-30 / Community

Senator Smith Votes For Tougher Laws On Illegal Guns

In response to the tragic deaths of two New York City police officers, State Senator Malcolm A. Smith voted to increase the penalties for crimes against police officers and the possession of illegal firearms, and to impose longer prison sentences for gun traffickers to stop the flow of illegal handguns in communities.

“It was with great sadness that New Yorkers watched two police officers senselessly killed in the line of duty protecting our city,” said Senator Smith. “While nothing can bring them back to their families, we can honor their memories and make our communities safer by imposing tough new sentences for crimes against law enforcement and the sale and possession of illegal guns.”

Key components of the new law include increasing prison sentences for violent crimes against police officers, peace officers and correction officers across New York; and the creation of a new type of crime, “aggravated murder” of a police officer, with a mandatory life without parole sentence. “Criminals who intentionally kill a law enforcement officer in New York are on notice, “said Senator Smith. “They will be spending the rest of their lives in a harsh and unforgiving prison cell.”

Senator Smith noted that a new violent felony category was created for possessing illegal firearms. Under current law, an offender would need to have in his or her possession 20 or more illegal firearms to even be charged with a violent felony.

“The new law also closes a loophole that has allowed gun traffickers to avoid serious felonies for illegal firearm sales. We need to get tough with those who wantonly sell illegal guns to criminals, like the alleged murderers of the two city cops,” said Senator Smith.

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