Legislation to require prison time for assaulting a law enforcement officer with a firearm was filed by state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) on Wednesday in honor of fallen Shelby Police Officer Tim Brackeen, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2017.
House Bill 224 Assault w/Firearm on LEO/Increase Punishment would increase the penalty for assaulting law enforcement officers with a firearm from a Class E felony to a Class D felony, a change that will require jail time for anyone convicted under North Carolina’s sentencing guidelines.
While currently a first-time offender could receive probation for the offense, H.B. 244 would require an active jail sentence upon conviction of a minimum of 38 months.
Speaker Moore noted Officer Brackeen was among a number of North Carolina law enforcement officers recently killed or seriously wounded in assaults with a firearm.
“Like so many members of law enforcement who sacrifice their lives and safety for others, Officer Tim Brackeen was a pillar of my community in Cleveland County who was taken from his friends and family senselessly by a violent criminal,” Moore said.
Speaker Moore said these and other senseless shootings involving law enforcement officers in North Carolina compelled him and his House colleagues to act.
“The fact that someone could assault a law enforcement officer with a firearm in North Carolina and not face jail time upon conviction is unconscionable,” Moore continued.
“Our brave officers deserve stronger protections and deterrents from being assaulted with a gun when they put their lives on the line in service to our communities.”
Courtesy photo of state House Speaker Tim Moore.