Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Prosecutors across New York are watching closely to see what course of action is taken at both the Federal and State levels regarding gun control.
Onondaga Country District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick as well as other DAs in New York favor closing loopholes in some areas of gun control legislation and strengthening it in others.
Fitzpatrick is realistic when it comes to gun control. He knows nothing on the table will completely stop the kind of mass shootings that have been perpetrated in Connecticut and Webster. But he believes that tougher gun laws will make it harder for the wrong people to obtain the types of guns used in such incidents.
“What does it take for someone to say, you know I really cherish my freedoms, my rights and I'm not necessarily giving up my right but I might be inconveniencing myself. What does it take to get a person over that threshold if not the slaughter of 26 people, 20 of whom were just little babies,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick favors a more complete assault weapons ban and limiting the number of bullets a magazine can hold. In addition, he supports measures that would keep such guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
"You certainly don't want to stigmatize someone who has said I want to see a psychiatrist because I'm having this issue or that issue, that doesn't mean the government should swoop in and say we're taking your guns, it would be a much more different standard than that,” he said.
Fitzpatrick said that everything he and the District Attorneys’ Association is recommending is supported by the Supreme Court’s rulings on the second amendment.
"It was never designed to be unlimited just like our right to free speech is not unlimited, certainly our second amendment rights are not unlimited,” he said.
Fitzpatrick and other prosecutors would like to see stiffer penalties for anyone who commits a crime with an illegal gun, which he says would be a deterrent.
Part of the package recommended by the State DA’s Association is to include a mandatory five year consecutive sentence in any gun crime.