RICHMOND (WRIC) – A proposed bill would increase the penalty for the dangerous practice of firing guns in the air.
The bill is being called "Brendon's Law," named after the 7-year-old that was struck by a stray bullet on July 4 in Chesterfield County.
The bill's sponsor, Senator Henry Marsh, is hoping it will pass and prevent future tragedies.
Currently, it is only a misdemeanor in Virginia, but marsh's bill would make it a felony, punishable to up to 40 years depending on whether the bullet caused a death like Brendon Mackey's.
‘To see a life wasted because somebody was shooting up in the air is a tragic situation and I found that I would do anything possible to make sure it didn't happen again," he says.
Marsh says he was inspired to write the bill after the tragedy when he attended Mackey's funeral last year.
Marsh says celebratory gunfire is a problem across the country and one that many states have already addressed, hoping Virginia is added to that list.
"Hopefully we can get enough support to get this bill passed so that the injuries and deaths will not occur in the future."
The bill is currently in the courts and justice committee waiting for lawmakers to take a closer look at it.
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