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Sen. Schumer Proposes Bill To Make Trespassing On City Infrastructure A Crime

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The laws against climbing up famous New York City landmarks like the World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge are too weak, according to Sen. Charles Schumer.

As 1010 WINS' Kevin Rincon reported, there have been several recent trespassing cases in the city: the German artist who took down the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, the pro-Palestinian flag that was displayed on the Manhattan Bridge and the teenager who climbed to the top of 1 World Trade Center to take pictures.

"While individuals like this may have meant no arm, their acts put commuters and first responders at risk," Schumer said. "They also inspire copycats who may have much more evil plans in mind."

Sen. Schumer Proposes Bill To Make Trespassing On Critical Infrastructure A Federal Crime

On Monday, the New York Democrat announced legislation to make it a federal crime to trespass at places like the Statue of Liberty and Indian Point with the intent to commit a crime.

"When stunts like this occur the New York City trespassing law has a maximum of one year, and it's often three months," he said. "That's not enough punishment to deter this behavior. It's time to change that."

So to try and prevent future acts on city infrastructures Schumer proposed the bill that would require a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

Sen. Schumer Proposes Bill To Make Trespassing On City Infrastructure A Crime

"That's five years on top of any punishment they'd receive for the actual crime that they committed," Schumer said. "We cannot turn New York City's infrastructure into playgrounds or worse."

So what constitutes critical infrastructure? The Patriot Act defines it as systems and assets so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction to them would have a debilitating effect, CBS 2's Alice Gainer reported.

"That would be a bridge, a power plant, the air vents in one of our tunnels," said Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, the NYPD endorses the measure.

Residents who spoke with Gainer were mixed on whether the measure does enough.

"They should punish people more, you know. I don't think it's enough," said Brooklyn resident Ismay Allen.

"I think that will definitely do enough to deter people from doing stuff like that," said Rockland County resident Andrew McDonagh.

The law wouldn't just apply to New York City, but the entire country, Rincon reported.

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