Protecting Playgrounds From Gun Violence

Published on February 25, 2014, 5:06 pm
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Two Bronx Democrats are looking to increase the penalty for shooting a child up to 10-years-old after a toddler in Bronx was shot in the arm while with his family in a park late last summer.

The legislators, Sen. Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, introduced a bill (A.8361-a/S.6634)they call Luisito’s Law, named in honor of the child, which would create two new criminal charges for gunmen who endanger the lives of children.

On August 30, 2013 a bullet shot through three-year-old Luis Oyola’s arm as he walked with his family through Vidalia Park around 6:00 p.m. The shot was a result of a gunfight that broke out in the park. He was rushed to St. Barnabas hospital and survived the wound. The shooter is currently awaiting trial on assault charges with a possible penalty of one-and-a-half to four years in prison.

“We cannot allow our parks and playgrounds to become ground zero for senseless gun crimes,” said Klein, D-Bronx. “Right now, parks and playground are leaving children and families far too vulnerable. These should be safe havens, not shooting ranges. Luisito’s Law will send a very clear message to our state’s criminals: if you take aim at our children, we’ll fire right back.”

The bill would make shooting a firearm 500 feet from a park, playground or schoolyard a class C felony with a penalty of three-and-a-half to 15 years in prison, and make the shooting of a child 10 or younger a class B felony with a minimum penalty of five to 25 years in prison. “Too often in my district and around the state I hear news of children injured by stray bullets from shootings in their neighborhoods,” said Sepulveda, D-Bronx. “It’s unacceptable that the man who shot three year old Luis faced less time in prison than a common thief. Today, we are taking the first step to change that reality. This legislation will send a message to criminals that if they bring violence into the lives of these innocent children, they will face serious time behind bars.”


Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.