The anti-gang bill was passed in the Senate this week. The bill cleared the senate floor and if it is passed in the House, it will head to the Governors desk to be signed into law.
“In short, it’s giving law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to combat the problems with gangs that we have in the state,” said Senator Brice Wiggins, author of the bill.
He added that there hasn’t been an update to a gang bill since the 1970s.
“No one wants to admit gangs exist in their community, but the unfortunate reality is they do, in all parts of the state,” Wiggins said. “Gangs are neither a Republican vs. Democrat, black vs. white or old vs young issue; it’s all of our issue. Law enforcement and prosecutors can’t do the job alone. We, from Legislative leadership to individual citizens, must consider it our duty to assist them.”
Wiggins said that gangs are not discriminatory and they have no regard for age, gender, or race.
“This law has been worked on for a number of years by the Mississippi Association of Gang Investigators as well as the prosecutors to help give them what they need, and the Mississippi Association of Gang Investigators are officers from all different agencies of all different backgrounds who have seen the problem that the state has with these gangs in the different communities.”
The bill passed with a vote of 35 yeas and 14 nays.