GOP Senators Introduce Legislation to Increase Penalties For Gang Violence

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Posted: Jul 22, 2020 3:25 PM
GOP Senators Introduce Legislation to Increase Penalties For Gang Violence

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Three GOP Senators introduced legislation aimed at cracking down on street violence, by streamlining federal sentencing guidelines for criminal gang activity. Spearheaded by Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the Cracking Down on Gangs and Deporting Criminals Act of 2020 broadens valid criteria for the prosecution of gang members and creates a federal database under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. 

The legislation also ensures that illegal immigrants found to be partaking in gang violence will be referred to the Department of Homeland Security for potential deportation. Sens. Marsha. Blackburn (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) joined Sen. Loeffler.

In addition to a national database for instances of gang violence under the DOJ, the legislation compels state and local governments to report information on gang activity to the attorney general:

"The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a national criminal street gang database to facilitate the exchange of information between Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecution and corrections agencies, offices, and departments...Each State and unit of local government 9 that receives Federal funds...shall submit to the Attorney General such information relating to criminal street gangs..."

The legislation mirrors Georgia’s state law that represents one of the strictest statutes against gang violence nationwide, and incentivizes states to crack down on gang activity.