A letter writer suggested a five-year prison sentence for possession of an illegal handgun, and 10 years if a weapon is used in a crime ["More prison time for crimes with illegal guns," Oct. 14].

As a U.S. senator more than 20 years ago, Alfonse D'Amato made a similar recommendation. He suggested that all gun crimes be "federalized." Now Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to impose harsh penalties for trafficking in illegal guns.

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Why not do both?

I believe that the National Rifle Association would support longer sentences as long as it does not infringe on the rights of those who possess legally obtained guns.

Peter Kelly, Medford