Assemblyman Ramos: Crime Bill Takes Aim at ‘Community’ Guns

Measure would help keep illegal handguns off the streets, curb gang violence
May 10, 2010

Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced he is sponsoring a bill intended to cut down on the use, sale or trafficking of illegal firearms that have been previously used in illegal activity (A.10910). Specifically, the measure creates the crimes of aggravated sale of a firearm – a class D felony – and aggravated sale of a firearm to a minor, a class C felony.

“These firearms, commonly called ‘community’ guns, are passed around or stashed in accessible places for use by many people,” Ramos said. “They are dangerous and make access to a firearm all too easy and a serious threat to the safety in our communities.”

An individual would be charged with the class D felony aggravated sale of a firearm when he or she knowingly and unlawfully sells, exchanges, gives or disposes of a firearm he or she knows has been used in committing a felony offense, has been stolen from its lawful owner, or has been defaced in order to make the weapon untraceable. An individual age 18 or older would be charged with the class C felony aggravated sale of a firearm to a minor when he or she commits the crime of aggravated sale of a firearm to a person who is less than 18 years old.

“Keeping these guns off the street will protect our neighborhoods from needless tragedy,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “This measure specifically addresses these illegal weapons and aims to eliminate them and make our streets safer.”

Ramos’ sponsorship of the bill is part of his ongoing effort to stamp out gang activity. In addition to sponsoring legislation, Ramos has secured $40,000 to clean up graffiti, an eyesore that, when not removed, sends a dangerous signal that people just don’t care and can attract other forms of crime and delinquency. The funding will establish an annual contract between the Urban League of Long Island and CitySolve, an organization tasked with graffiti removal.

Residents who encounter graffiti are encouraged to call the Graffiti Removal Hotline at 631-316-8565.