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AG to legislators: Pass Criminal Gang Prevention Act

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is once again calling on lawmakers in Montgomery to pass a bill drafted by his office that would crack down on criminal gangs in the Yellowhammer State.

The Alabama Criminal Gang Prevention Act would criminalize gang-related activities, strengthen penalties against those using a firearm in connection with gang-related activates, and require those age 16 and above to be charged as an adult for crimes involving gang-related activities.

Marshall spoke about the bill in an interview with Birmingham’s WRBC News 6.

“We believe this will be not only a tool in the toolbox for law enforcement and prosecutors,” said Marshall, “but also a very specific deterrent for gang activity as well, that if you’re that gang member and know that you’re about to engage in this activity, they’ll be a clear understanding that number one your penalties are going to be harsher and if you do it with a gun, that you’re going to have very specific time that you’re going to serve.”

The attorney general pointed to the rise in homicides in Alabama as evidence that gangs are getting out of control across the state.

“I think all we have to do is look at our homicide statistics,” he said, “particularly in Birmingham where you see the loss of lives that we had over the last year. Many of those are directly attributable to gang activity.”

The legislation is being carried by State Sen. William Barfoot (R-Pike Road) in the Senate and by State Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris) in the House.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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