An expert on gun trafficking has praised a New York legislative plan to target dealers but said lawmakers are misled if they think stiffer penalties for shooting cops will reduce gun violence against law enforcers, reports the Albany Times Union. Daniel Webster, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said Republican senators may be opposing a bill targeting gun sellers because many of the bad dealers are located in rural, conservative areas, while the crimes committed with the guns they sell occur in urban areas.
Both major political parties support tougher penalties for gun crimes, but have philosophically different approaches toward legal gun sales. Legislative leaders hope for a resolution by tomorrow, when Gov. George Pataki scheduled a special session to pass his package of expanded gun laws. Pataki says immediate action is necessary to protect police officers. On the idea of stiffer sentences’ deterring gun crimes, Webster said he was skeptical because criminals know killing someone with a gun carries severe penalties.