Legislation that imposes harsher penalties for gun crimes involving children introduced this week gained support from a state gun control group on Friday.
“Luisito’s Law” would make discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a park, playground or schoolyard a class C felony with a three and a half to 15 year prison sentence and make shooting a victim under the age of 10 a class B felony, with a five to 25 year prison sentence.
The law is named after three year-old Luisito Oyola Jr. was shot in the arm after two men got into a gunfight in a Bronx park last August, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.
“We cannot allow our parks and playgrounds to become ground zero for senseless gun crimes,” Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein and sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “Right now, parks and playground are leaving children and families far too vulnerable. These should be safe havens, not shooting ranges. Luisto’s Law will send a very clear message to out state’s criminals: if you take aim at our children, we’ll fire right back.”
On Friday, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence voiced support of the bill.
“NYAGV supports Luisito’s Law, which imposes stiffer penalties on individuals who use guns in the vicinity of playground,” Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said in a statement. “When our children can no longer feel safe in public parks and playgrounds, which should be safe havens, something is terribly wrong. Although New York has strong gun safety laws, there is more we can do to protect our children from gun violence and Luisito’s Law is a positive step forward.”