U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on Tuesday, along with Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Cracking Down on Gangs and Deporting Criminals Act of 2020 to strengthen federal sentencing guidelines for criminal gang activity and create a federal database for criminal street gang activity within the U.S. Department of Justice.
The bill is modeled after a similar Georgia law, and makes it easier for prosecutors to crack down on gang members by expanding the criteria that can be used for sentencing as well as increasing the ability for illegal immigrant gang members to be deported.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who along with former Cobb DA and current GBI head Vic Reynolds has made confronting gang violence a key issue, voiced his support for the legislation.
The bill also would create a national street gang database at the U.S. Department of Justice to facilitate the exchange of information about gang activity between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies as well as prosecution and corrections agencies. Local law enforcement agencies would be required to provide information on criminal street gangs in order to receive certain federal law enforcement grants.
“Gang violence ends innocent lives, ruins families, destroys communities and spreads fear,” said Loeffler. “This legislation reaffirms our commitment to keeping American communities safe by establishing stricter punishments for convicted gang members, creating a federal database to track gang networks and ensuring illegal immigrants who engage in criminal gang activity are deported. We must not only work to prevent the formation of gangs, but also to track their members and hold them accountable for their vile actions so we can end the violence and keep the American people safe.”