By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Around the corner from where a three-year-old girl was shot and killed by a stray bullet in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia, prosecutors, police and lawmakers renewed their call for legislation that mandates hard time in jail for carrying illegal guns.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says in New York City, there was political will for swift and harsh punishment for those who are caught carrying a gun without a proper license.
He says New York’s homicide rate dropped from 2,400 in the early 1990’s to 334 murders last year:
“They impose a three-and-a-half year mandatory minimum for those that unlawfully possess firearms.”
A bill sponsored by State Representative John Taylor has passed the Judiciary Committee which would mandate minimum two-year prison terms for anyone convicted of illegal gun possession in Philadelphia. It awaits a vote in the full house before that measure or a companion bill by State Senator Larry Farnese moves to the senate:
“We have the opportunity to return to Harrisburg in september and move this bill.”
They say the man accused of killing three-year old Tynirah Borum, a convicted felon, would have been behind bars at the time, if a mandatory minimum sentence for illegally carrying a firearm in Philadelphia had been enacted.
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