Senate increases penalties for firearms with obliterated serial numbers.

Persons with firearms that have obliterated serial numbers may be facing harsh penalities.

Senate increases penalties for firearms with obliterated serial numbers.  HB4 was reported favorable (14-0) on April 25 and is pending house final passage.

Joseph P. Lopinto III is the primary author of the bill. Loptino proposed a change to the present law which will increase criminal penalties for possession of or dealing in firearms with obliterated serial numbers.

The present law states, “no person shall intentionally receive, posses, carry, conceal, buy, sell or transport any firearm from which the serial number or mark identification has been obliterated. Present law also provides that whoever violates the penalties shall be fined not more than $1,000 and may be imprisoned for not more than six months” (Lopinto).

The proposed legislation amends the law by increasing the terms of imprisonment to jail time with or without hard labor, for not less than one year nor more than five years for the first conviction; and upon a second or subsequent conviction, imprisonment with or without hard labor for not less than two years nor more than 10 years (Lopinto).

Emily Lotz, a Junior at Southeastern, feels that this bill is important. Lotz said, “With the frequent shootings in New Orleans and at schools for that matter, I wonder just how many of the guns have obliterated serial numbers. I think the harsher penalty makes for a better law.”

Lopinto said, “I always want a favorable ruling, but I am especially pleased with this outcome.”

The floor debate is scheduled for May 3, 2012.

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