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Crime, Law and Justice

Washington Lawmakers Consider Swifter Penalty For Juveniles With Illegal Guns

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier to lock up juveniles who carry guns illegally. Currently, it takes five felony convictions on firearms charges before someone under 18 is sent to a juvenile lockup.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg told a panel of Washington lawmakers the proposal would help curb youth violence.

“The truth is we don’t get many kids who get five convictions for carrying a gun because, sometime between that first one and the fifth one, they pull the gun out of their pocket and they shoot somebody.”

The bill would cost an estimated $6 to $8 million to implement. Critics say the money should instead be used trying to keep kids from picking up firearms in the first place.