Legislation (S.8467) authored by Senator Marty Golden (R, C-Brooklyn) creating a tough new penalty for possession of one illegal loaded firearm was signed into law by Governor George Pataki earlier this afternoon. The law was praised by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a historic piece of legislation with significant public safety benefits.
“The agreement reached on this historic legislation will have a significant impact to rid our streets of illegal firearms” said Senator Marty Golden. “I concur with Mayor Bloomberg that the fight against illegal guns isn’t waged only on the streets. We have created a law that makes enforcement easier and prevention more effective to keep illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of criminals.”
Golden, a retired New York City Police Officer injured in the line of duty, authored the 2005 law that reduces the number of weapons necessary to be charged with possession of a weapon. This bill is a result of a promise made by Senator Golden to eliminate a dangerous loophole allowing gun-toting thugs to avoid jail time for the possession of a single loaded firearm.
“According to the Bureau of Alcochol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over 5,511 illegal firearms were recovered from January 1, 2005-December 31, 2005 in New York City with the bulk of the confiscations occurring in Brooklyn,” said Senator Golden. “The possession of a single illegal loaded weapon can turn any criminal transgression into a tragedy and this bill will help to continue reducing our historically low crime rates. Criminals who choose to endanger the public by carrying a gun must be punished commensurate with the severity of the crimes they commit.”
This law makes the possession of one illegal loaded firearm a class C felony, sending a clear message that the people of New York will not tolerate violence perpetrated by criminals using illegal firearms. By elevating the penalty for possession of a single illegal firearm, and ensuring those found guilty face jail time instead of probation, this law takes an important step toward ridding New York’s streets of illegal guns.
“I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his staunch support of this legislation and all of my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly for their unanimous support. Thank you Governor Pataki for making this law.”