Gov. Ivey adds signature to ‘Gang Bill’

Legislation that would crack down on gang activity is heading to Governor Ivey's desk.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 10:19 AM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed SB143, previously known as the “Gang Bill.”

What got both Alabama parties on board with The Alabama Gang Prevention Act is calling gangs criminal enterprises. These are organizations of three or more people that have a pattern of criminal activity.

The law provides penalty enhancements for felonies committed to further the interest of any criminal enterprise or gang. It also attaches mandatory minimum sentences to the possession or use of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes and ensures that individuals aged 16 and older will be charged as adults for any violation of these provisions.

Members can be identified based on some controversial categories such as clothes or hand signs. Using a firearm to promote gang violence is punishable by a sentence of 5 to 30 years. Without a firearm, the sentence is up to 25 years.

“In the coming weeks, I will be announcing a coalition of investigators, prosecutors, and experts that will focus exclusively on the enforcement of this act,” said Attorney General Marshall. “We will also be setting up training opportunities for local law enforcement throughout our state. We didn’t draft and advocate for this bill just to say we did something to fix Alabama’s violent crime problem—we intend to deliver real results.”

The law will take effect on Sept. 1.

Lawmakers say similar laws have been successful in reducing gang violence in other states, including Florida.

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