Raleigh, NC-- Firing a gun into an occupied car or home would bring more severe penalties in a bill that cleared a Senate committee.
The measure is known as "Rachel's Law." It's named after Rachel Sanchez, who was shot in the head in 2003 while traveling on Interstate 40 in Catawba County. A teenager confessed to firing the weapon at the car. Rachel, who was five when shot, is recovering.
The bill would make firing a gun into an occupied building or traveling vehicle a felony punishable from about three to 17 years in prison.
Existing law makes the maximum term for the crime about six years.
The punishment could reach as high as more than 32 years, the equivalent of a second-degree murder conviction if the shooting causes serious injury.
The bill now goes to the Senate floor.