NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One New York lawmaker wants to make it a lot harder to get out of prison for having an illegal gun.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller On The Story

One year to two years in prison is the maximum sentence someone currently gets if they’re caught with an illegal gun in New York.

“We believe the message that that sends to those who have illegal guns is ‘I can go away for a year, maybe two years. I’ll come back on good behavior in a year and I have a badge of honor,” New York St. Sen. Malcolm Smith told reporters in Jamaica, Queens on Thursday.

Smith said that’s not enough and is proposing his own legislation in Albany.

“We are asking that you have mandatory maximum eight years in jail, minimum five years,” he said. “You get caught with your gun, you’re gone. You’re not coming back in a year, six months, five months. By the time you come back, these kids here will have graduated from high school, maybe gone on to college.”

He noted that New York does already have tough laws that apply to legal guns.

“This particular legislation is for those guns that are on the street that are just hanging out on the corner some place,” he said.

Donna Hood, who lost her 13-year-old son who was shot while walking home from school, said something more needs to be done.

“I still have a younger son. I have to worry about his childhood hoping that nothing happens to him,” she said.

Bridget Hogard lost her 18-year-old son last year, who had been headed to Sullivan University.

“For him to graduate that Friday and be gone that Sunday is something you never get over,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Monica Miller.

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