State Senator Marty Golden has introduced legislation that he says will help eliminate community guns from neighborhood streets.
The bill was endorsed by Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan, State Senator Andrew Lanza of Staten Island and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis during a special press conference at the Staten Island District Attorneys Office on October 5.
The legislation would increase penalties for the availability, sale, exchange, sharing, giving or disposal of a community gun — one stored in a public or quasi-public place that no one lays claim to, and which is often used by gang members if it is utilized to commit crimes.
It would also give prosecutors more power to indict those who use guns in this manner and make any of these actions a Class D Felony. The bill would also make the criminal sale or transfer or a gun that intentionally causes the death of another person within a three-year period, a Class B Felony.
Law enforcement experts report that the use of community guns is becoming more prevalent within our society, yet those making these illegal guns available are not being held accountable, Golden said. As such, we must advance our laws in New York to halt this pattern so to keep our streets safer for all citizens.
Donovan commented, Its ironic that these stashed-away weapons are referred to as community guns, because they are destroying our communities. In neighborhoods plagued by violence, community guns are as easily accessible as ATMs, to be used to commit any crime, any time, he said. Senator Goldens bill would help us crack down on those who make illegal firearms available to criminals who wreak havoc on our city.
Lanza agreed. This legislation which targets community guns will provide law enforcement agents and prosecutors with greater tools to combat gun violence and keep dangerous criminals off our streets, he stated. Id like to thank Senator Marty Golden and District Attorney Dan Donovan for their leadership on this legislation which will strengthen our ability to prosecute those despicable members of society who perform indiscriminate acts of violence with illegal guns.
Illegally-transferred weapons allow criminals to perpetrate violence without a paper trail, Malliotakis said. Law enforcement is put at a severe disadvantage without the necessary tools to address the exchange of lethal weaponry. This common sense legislation will hold people responsible for sharing and illegally transferring guns used in violent crimes.