Sen. Jim Hendren files bill to increase penalty for shooting at law enforcement offers | Arkansas Blog

Sen. Jim Hendren files bill to increase penalty for shooting at law enforcement offers

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HENDREN: Aiming to stiffen punishment for shooting at law enforcement officers.
  • HENDREN: Aiming to stiffen punishment for shooting at law enforcement officers.
Sen. Jim Hendren yesterday filed a bill that would make shooting at a law enforcement officer a Class Y felony, the state's most serious charge, which carries 10 to 40 years in prison or life.

The bill expands the definition of "aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer or employee of a correctional facility" to include someone who "knowingly discharges a firearm with a purpose to cause serious physical injury or death to a law enforcement officer or an employee of a correctional facility while the law enforcement officer or employee of a correctional facility is acting within the scope of his or her official duties."

Under current law, the special designation for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer or employee of a correctional facility (as opposed to simply aggravated assault) refers only to situations in which someone intentionally throws or expels bodily fluids or excretions at an officer, risking infection — a Class D felony, the last serious felony offense. Under Hendren's bill, that would remain a Class D felony, while the situation described above involving firing a gun would be a Class Y felony.

The bill also establishes numerous prohibitions for someone convicted of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer if a Class Y felony, including possessing body armor, working at a state agency, and holding a license as a teacher, nurse, or social worker.


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