Anti-gang legislation one step closer to becoming law

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 7:39 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State senators made minor changes to the Anti-gang legislation bill before unanimously passing the bill. Attorney General Steve Marshall has supported it from the start and believes it will not only deter gang activity, but strengthen the consequences for those who participate.

Marshall was very excited and he pointed to the fact that the bipartisan senate passed it unanimously as a good sign for the bill’s future in the house.

If the bill is passed and you’re found guilty of criminal activity that benefits a criminal enterprise or gang, you’ll receive much stricter consequences.

For example, if you are arrested while participating in a criminal enterprise, depending on the fire arm you could face anywhere between five and 35 years in prison. One of the few changes the senate made to the bill is the phrase criminal enterprise. They substituted that phrase in for gangs as it would encompass really any group crime, not just gangs.

The act would also make it harder for “criminal enterprises” to use kids to commit crimes. It would require anyone at least 16 years old and charged with criminal gang-related activity to be charged as an adult.

The bill has gained support from all across the state in recent weeks with law enforcement voicing their support in a number of ways.

“We have heard the sad stories of the innocent lives that have been affected by this violent activity. This is that opportunity for us to be aggressive in attacking these groups of individuals who are committing these violent offenses and allow Alabama to become a safer place,” said Attorney General Marshall.

Marshall says he hopes the bill moves quickly though committee and the house floor next week and he thinks there is still hope they can get this passed before the end of the legislative session

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