Governor Edward G. Rendell today joined Pennsylvania House Speaker Dennis O’Brien in announcing their joint support for legislation that would create a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who discharges a firearm with the intent to injure, maim or kill a law enforcement officer.
The legislation expands upon House Bill 2467, which passed the House in 2006 establishing a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for injury to a police officer.
“The need for Speaker O’Brien’s legislation has been tragically demonstrated by the last five weeks in Philadelphia where we have seen three city police officers shot and wounded and one, Charles Cassidy, shot and killed,” Governor Rendell said. “This carnage is overwhelming evidence of the need for swift and sure punishment that acts as a deterrent to armed assault on our police officers.”
“Let the word go out that in Pennsylvania anyone who fires a gun at a police officer is going to jail for at least two decades,” said Speaker O’Brien. “We should, and we must, give maximum protection to those who put their lives on the line protecting us.”
Governor Rendell indicated that he would raise private sector funds for an advertising campaign to inform the public of the existence of this strong deterrent after the legislation is enacted.
The Governor supports the ongoing series of workgroups established by Speaker O'Brien that are now crafting recommendations for systemic changes to reduce violence in communities across Pennsylvania.