By Bob Katzen

The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a proposal that would impose up to a five-year prison sentence and/or $10,000 fine on anyone who discharges an assault weapon, firearm, large capacity weapon, machine gun, rifle, sawed-off shotgun or shotgun into a dwelling. Under current law this crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a 30-day jail sentence and/or $100 fine.

Supporters also said that under current law the punishment is disproportionate to the severity of this type of incident. They noted this crime, primarily committed by gang members, is often used as an intimidation tactic without regard for the innocent people in the home.

“Random and intentional gun shots into homes can cause grave physical and mental consequences to homeowners and their families,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Rady Mom (D-Lowell). “It also creates an unsafe environment and heightens public distrust in the neighborhood where it occurs. This bill will give law enforcement officers the necessary tools to keep our cities safe.”

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