Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on June 21, 2024
Gilbert Enforces New Ordinances to Tackle Teen Violence and Public DisturbancesSource: Google Street View

In Gilbert, Arizona, two new ordinances intended to target teen violence and public disturbances are officially in action after their approval by the Gilbert Town Council last month. The first regulation places a ban on the sale, gifting, and possession of brass knuckles to individuals under 18. This move comes in the wake of concerns about the usage of these weapons in violent confrontations among youth.

According to the Town of Gilbert's official announcement, brass knuckles, regardless of material—be it metal, plastic, or wood—are now classed as contraband for minors, punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The Council's decision was a direct recommendation from its Subcommittee on Teen Violence, which reported its findings in April, and now the consequences for breaking this rule have been clearly defined.

Simultaneously, the town has introduced measures to manage "unruly gatherings," with the aim of maintaining public order. This includes enforcing penalties on those responsible for such gatherings. This can extend to property owners, landlords, and tenants but notably, the ordinance also holds parents or guardians accountable when the responsible individual is a minor.

Breaking the unruly gatherings ordinance can be costly, fines range from $500 to $2,500 for a civil violation. Moreover, habitual offenders may face a Class 1 misdemeanor if they are repeat violators within an 18-month period. If the costs of intervening in these gatherings fall onto the town, those responsible will bear the burden of these expenses as well.

Both ordinances align with the town's strategic mission to curb teen violence and uphold public peace, as stated in the news release from Gilbert. The town's Council and the Community Engagement Task Force plan to continue their work together on this front, promising the review of additional recommendations to address and reduce instances of teen violence and disorder within the community.