SB 2868 was passed on a 35-17 vote on Wednesday. The bill aims at criminals and gangs that are within our communities and would give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools to apprehend the individuals targeting young people for gang activity.
Senator John Horhn from Jackson spoke up quickly about the bill, and what he called “unattended consequences.” He asked Sen. Wiggins, who defended the bill, what would happen to young people who were forced into gang activity, against their will, in the event that they were arrested. Wiggins assured him that this bill was not aimed at those individuals. This bill would target those who are attempting to “prey” on youth and bring them into gang activity.
“I believe this bill will be deterrent to gang activity and give law enforcement the tools they need to take back their communities,” said Sen. Wiggins.
Sen. Derrick Simmons offered a reverse repealer on the bill.
“There have been so many questions and concerns on this bill. We want to keep the bill moving, but I do want to make sure some of the concerns are addressed,” said Sen. Simmons.
Wiggins argued that the amendment was unnecessary, the proper research and work has been done and there is no need to keep going over it. The amendment failed and the bill was brought up for final passage.
It now heads to the House for consideration.