Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gang laws or not? When you first hear there are anti-gang proposals you would think it's a no brainer right? Not so much.

First, most might think there's already laws referring to gangs. Nope. It's not recognized in laws, only in sentencing guidelines. The Street Gang Prevention Act recognizes gangs as illegal for the first time. It also goes after the "Kingpens" of these gangs who are recruiting members.

The original bill went after kids as young as 12 but has since been changed to 16 when there was an outcry about the possibility of young juveniles facing adult sentences and crimes.

Anywho, it has been slow to move forward and today we learned a little bit more why. After a news conference by mayors, police, and lawmakers in support of the bill, Rep. Alma Adams and several groups stepped in to have a news conference as well. NC NAACP Prez William Barber was there as well.

They are against the bill for several reasons. They are worried it targets blacks and hispanics. They also want to study the issue and find ways to battle the problem at a younger age before these kids are entering gangs.

So what's next? The House and Senate both have versions. The House version gets a hearing in a committee tomorrow. There's a Saturday deadline to get bill through committees in both chambers Saturday. The bill will likely stall unless that deadline is removed.

I'm off until Monday for a little R& enjoy the next few days and see you on Monday!

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