Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is working with Republican lawmakers to bring a set of bills to the Alabama Legislature to curb gang violence by increasing sentences for gang-related crimes.
The bills, backed by State Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris) and State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), will be considered by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees this week, according to reports.
Marshall told the press that the bills would enhance sentencing for gang-related crimes. If the bills pass, possessing a firearm while committing a gang-related crime could result in a 10-year prison sentence, and more years could be added for specific firearms. Individuals aged 16 to 19 could be tried as adults for gang-related crimes.
In a press conference on Monday, Birmingham Police Department (BPD) chief Scott Thurmond indicated that a deadly shooting on Easter Sunday in 2021 could’ve been gang-related. BPD is offering $30,000 for information about the shooting.
Last year, Birmingham experienced 144 homicides in total, several resulting from stray bullets fired in drive-by-shootings. In January, MoneyGeek listed Birmingham as one of the most unsafe cities in the United States.
After a spree of killings over Labor Day weekend, Woodin called for gangs to “chill and put the guns down” in a Facebook post. In the same post, he named several gangs, specifically: H2K, 6500 boys, 420, TMSG and CPMG.
After Woodfin’s comment, a former agent with the Bureau of Alchohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and current Calera Police chief David Hyche told WBRC the number of gangs in Central Alabama had increased over the last decade and lacked structure, thereby becoming “more fluid.”
According to reports, H2K or “Hard to Kill,” is a gang on Birmingham’s east side. Thurmond indicated in 2022 that H2K members could be responsible for the 2021 Easter Sunday shooting.
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