senate Bill S1797

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for establishment of gun court calendars in criminal courts

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to codes
Jan 09, 2013 referred to codes

Co-Sponsors

S1797 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง10.50, CP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S2294, S6262
2009-2010: S347

S1797 - Bill Texts

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Directs the establishment of gun court calendars in criminal courts to hear cases involving unlawful gun possession and use; requires the expeditious scheduling of trials conducted therein; makes various provisions for the establishment of such calendar.

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BILL NUMBER:S1797

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in
relation to establishing gun court calendars in the criminal courts

PURPOSE/SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill would amend the New York
State Criminal Procedure Law to create a gun court calendar designed
to exclusively hear gun related cases. The presiding justice of the
criminal court in the state shall create a gun court calendar for the
effected counties and shall assign personnel to process all criminal
cases tried by the court. All trials assigned to the court will be
scheduled within sixty days of the completion of discovery. No
continuances or postponements shall be granted except for good cause
shown. Necessary continuances will be granted for the shortest
practicable time. The goals of the court are to reduce the number of
gun cases and ensure that perpetrators serve prison time.

JUSTIFICATION: Findings indicate that there has been significant
growth in the use of firearms in the commission of violent crimes.
According to New York City police officials, guns were used in 34.2%
of the 143,654 felonies committed in the City in 1993.

This constitutes:

*47,991 felonies committed involving handguns

*784 felonies committed involving shotguns

*145 felonies committed involving rifles

*254 felonies committed involving machine guns

Figures for the State are equally bleak. According to the New York
State Division of Criminal Justice Services, reported homicides
committed with guns in 1993 totaled 1,739. Also, it is estimated that
in 1994 over 9,600 individuals were arrested whose most serious charge
at arrest involved firearm and armed felony offenses. Many of the
shootings are drug or gang related and endanger law abiding citizens.
Additionally, many of the gun offenses are committed while individuals
are free on bail for other offenses. The growing number of gun related
offenses constitutes a burden upon the State of New York and threatens
the domestic tranquility of the State and its people. Especially
affected are residents of the urban areas where these crimes are most
prevalent. The Legislature recognizes that in order to deter the use
of firearms in the commission of violent crime, and to protect the law
abiding public, there must be swift disposition of gun related
offenses. By placing repeat offenders prone to weapon use in jail
within months of their crime for a longer duration of time, crime will
fall dramatically. Similar legislation has been successfully
implemented in Rhode Island and has been supported by both the NRA and
gun control groups.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect thirty days after the date
upon which it shall have become a law.


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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1797

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. ESPAILLAT, ADAMS, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to  establishing
  gun court calendars in the criminal courts

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Legislative intent.  The  legislature  finds  and  declares
that:
  (1)  There  has  been significant growth in the use of firearms in the
commission of violent crimes.
  (2) Many of the shootings are drug or gang related  and  endanger  law
abiding citizens.
  (3)  Many of the gun offenses are committed while individuals are free
on bail for other offenses.
  (4) The growing number of gun related offenses  constitutes  a  burden
upon the state of New York and threatens the domestic tranquility of the
state  and  its  people,  especially  residents of the urban areas where
these crimes are most prevalent.
  (5) In order to deter the use of firearms in the commission of violent
crimes, and to protect the law  abiding  public,  there  must  be  swift
disposition of gun related offenses in our courts, and there must be the
certain  prospect  of  prison  terms for those who are convicted of such
crimes.
  It is therefore declared to be the policy of the state of New York  to
provide  maximum  safety  and  security  to its people from unlawful gun
related violence and intrusion upon their persons and property by  expe-
diting  the  processing and disposition of such cases and, unless other-
wise provided, imposing prison terms that must be served.
  To accomplish this purpose in an effort to minimize delay in the proc-
essing  of  criminal  cases  in  this  state  relating  to  the  illegal

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05335-01-3

S. 1797                             2

possession  and  use  of guns and other dangerous weapons there shall be
established a separate calendar within the jurisdiction of the  criminal
courts  of  this  state  for  hearing  trial  and disposition of actions
brought  pursuant  to  the provisions of the penal law wherein a firearm
was used during the commission of any crime contained therein.
  S 2. The criminal procedure law is amended by  adding  a  new  section
10.50 to read as follows:
S 10.50 GUN COURT CALENDAR.
  1.  EACH  PRESIDING JUSTICE OF THE CRIMINAL COURTS OF THIS STATE SHALL
CREATE A GUN COURT CALENDAR AND SHALL ASSIGN  PERSONNEL  TO  THE  EXTENT
WARRANTED  TO EXCLUSIVELY HEAR AND DECIDE ALL CRIMINAL ACTIONS INVOLVING
OFFENSES WHEREIN A FIREARM WAS USED DURING THE COMMISSION OF ANY  CRIME.
SUCH  CALENDAR  SHALL  BE REFERRED TO AS THE "GUN COURT CALENDAR" OF THE
CRIMINAL COURT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE PENAL LAW WHER-
EIN A FIREARM WAS USED DURING THE  COMMISSION  OF  ANY  CRIME  CONTAINED
THEREIN.
  2. ALL TRIALS IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS OF THIS STATE SCHEDULED FOR TRIAL
ON  THE  GUN  COURT CALENDAR SHALL BE COMMENCED WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE
COMPLETION OF DISCOVERY NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF  LAW.  NO
CONTINUANCES  OR  POSTPONEMENTS  SHALL  BE GRANTED EXCEPT FOR GOOD CAUSE
SHOWN. SUCH CONTINUANCES AS ARE NECESSARY SHALL BE GRANTED FOR THE SHOR-
TEST PRACTICABLE TIME.
  3. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL A DEFENDANT BE PERMITTED TO RELY  UPON
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AS A BASIS FOR A DISMISSAL OF AN ACTION.
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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