Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) recently co-sponsored a legislative package that will strengthen the penalties for individuals who kill or injure police officers and toughen current laws to keep illegal guns off the streets. The New York State Senate and Assembly passed the legislative package during an emergency session of the State Legislature in Albany recently. Governor Pataki signed the legislation into law shortly thereafter.
The first component of this legislative package is the "Crimes Against Police Act." This new law will toughen the minimum penalties for committing certain crimes against a police officer. Under the new law, any individual who is convicted of intentionally murdering a police officer, peace officer, or corrections officer, will automatically be given a sentence of life without parole. In addition, anyone convicted of Attempted Murder 1 of a police officer, peace officer, or corrections officer will receive a minimum sentence of 20-40 years to life.
Also included in the legislative package is an anti-gun trafficking measure that will help keep illegal firearms off the streets. Under the law, the sale of just one illegal handgun will be considered a violent felony offense punishable by up to seven years in prison, closing a loophole that gun traffickers used to escape felony charges.
The same punishment would apply to anyone convicted of possessing three illegal guns. Individuals found guilty of possessing or selling 10 or more illegal guns will face up to 25 years in prison. Previously, an individual who was caught possessing 19 or fewer illegal firearms could only be charged with a misdemeanor offense and receive no more than one year in jail.