North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday signed "Conner's Law"—legislation to boost the penalty for assaulting emergency personnel and to increase the death benefit for the families of emergency personnel murdered in the line of duty.
The law is named after State Trooper Kevin Conner, who was shot to death almost a year ago during a traffic stop in Columbus County, NC.
Two people are charged with Conner's murder, reports the Fayetteville Observer.
"I have spoken to Trooper Kevin Conner's family and know how much he meant to them and to his community and our state. I hope that in his honor and memory, Conner's Law will help prevent future violence against the brave men and women who keep our communities safe," Cooper said in a news release Wednesday.
The new law mandates active prison time for people who use a firearm to assault law enforcement officers (prior law had an option for probation) and it toughens the potential sentences for people who assault and injure other emergency responders regardless of what kind of weapon is used.
The law also doubles the death benefit, to $200,000, for the family of a public safety worker murdered on the job.