The Senate today gave passage to Senate Bill S.2940, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza, which criminalizes gang activities in and around schools. The bill establishes a class D felony for criminal street gang recruitment on school grounds and authorizes municipalities to place “Gang Free School Zone” signs around schools throughout New York State
“Too often, street gangs thrive in and around our public schools, preying on our young students and subjecting them to threats and violence,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. "Schools are a place where our children should be safe and secure. This legislation will deter gang leaders from actively soliciting and recruiting juveniles in and around schools.”
Lanza’s bill amends the penal law to define criminal street gang, criminal street gang member, criminal street gang activity, and school grounds. The adds a new section to the penal code, 460.65, which makes criminal street gang recruitment on school grounds a class D felony punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison. The bill also authorizes the placement of “Gang Free School Zone” signs around schools throughout New York State and enhances the penalties for gang-related crime occurring within them.
“Those who threaten a child’s futures and interfere with their education ought to be punished in the most serious way," said Lanza.