By DEUCE NIVEN
“Conner’s Law,” a bill that if approved will provide enhanced penalties for those who harm law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel and improved benefits for public safety personnel murdered in the line of duty, cleared another legislative hurdle Wednesday, state Rep. Brendon Jones said.
Jones, a Tabor City Republican, introduced the bill early in this session to honor Master Trooper Kevin Conner of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, murdered during a traffic stop last October.
Bill introduced the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, where it won approval.
“This is a very special bill to me,” Jones said. “It’s a good first step to honor those who protect us every day. This bill reflects the State’s dedication to law enforcement and we want them to know that we have their back and that we have zero tolerance for anyone who seeks to harm them.”
Should Conner’s Law be signed into law it would do the following:
- Increase the penalty for assaulting a law enforcement officer, probation officer, or parole officer with a firearm from a Class E felony to a Class D felony.
- Increase the penalty for assaulting emergency personnel and causing serious bodily injury or using a deadly weapon from a Class H felony to a Class G felony.
- Increase the penalty for assaulting emergency personnel and using a firearm from a Class F felony to a Class E felony.
- Provide an additional death benefit for public safety employees who are murdered in the line of duty.
- Make a technical correction to a related provision in existing law and make it effective retroactively to the original effective date of the provision.
Conner’s Law previously passed the House of Representatives unanimously in March by a vote of 119-0. It is to be referred now to the Senate Committee on Pensions and Retirement and Aging.