Woman Who Helped Craft Shannon's Law Reacts To Yarbrough's Decision

Published: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 3:38pm
Updated: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 3:49pm

A bill that would weaken Shannon’s Law, the landmark gun legislation passed in 2000, is effectively dead at the state Legislature this morning.

Shannon’s Law made it a felony to fire a gun within a mile of an occupied structure within city limits. But proponents of the bill said that this could allow someone to be prosecuted for the “accidental” discharge of a firearm.

The bill would have placed the burden of proving someone recklessly fired a gun within city limits on prosecutors before they could charge someone with a felony.

But the Senate president, Republican Steve Yarbrough, said he would not hear the bill in the Senate Rules Committee on Monday, which would have had to happen to advance the bill in the Senate.

The Show’s Lauren Gilger is here with reaction to this decision. Why did Yarbrough kill this bill?

Yarbrough said that the bill would make it difficult to charge someone with a crime and that prosecutors already use their discretion before charging someone with a felony under the current law.

Shannon’s Law was named for 14-year-old Shannon Smith, who was killed by a stray bullet while she was talking on the phone in her backyard in 2000.

Gerry Hills helped craft the original legislation, and I spoke with her earlier this morning to hear her reaction to today’s news.

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