Monday, December 22, 2014

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Western NY

Lawmaker Pushes for Mark's Law

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In the wake of the tragic shooting in Webster on Christmas Eve, there appears new momentum for state legislation that would stiffen the penalties for those convicted of violent attacks on emergency responders.

It's called Mark's Law, named after EMT Mark Davis. He was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2009. The legislation would make it possible for those who kill EMTs or firefighters, to be charged with first degree murder. The bill passed the Senate, but has faced resistance in the Assembly.

Friday, an assemblywoman from the North Country introduced an enhanced version of the bill with two new provisions:


  • A possible 15 year prison sentence for anyone who provides a gun to someone considered unstable or homicidal.
  • A change that would make it harder for the public and the media to get the names and addresses of pistol permit holders.
  • Appearing on Capital Tonight, Assemblywoman Addie Russell explained the charges.

    "You know I think that there are different ways that you can come at the tragedies and we have had in our communities. And I'm trying to come at it from a perspective that respects the Second Amendment and when it comes to the pistol permit information also respects the First Amendment."

    Senator Patty Ritchie, who introduced this bill in the Senate last year, says the extra provisions could hurt a bill that already failed in the Assembly. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says he supports the original bill and is working to include it in a broader gun control bill.

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