ARIZONA NEWS

Chandler City Council considering brass knuckles ban as a way to deter youth violence

May 8, 2024, 10:00 AM

Split image with a sign reading Chandler City Council at the outside the East Valley suburb's city ...

The Chandler City Council is considering a brass knuckles ban for minors. (City of Chandler and Getty Images File Photos)

(City of Chandler and Getty Images File Photos)

PHOENIX – The Chandler City Council on Thursday will consider a proposal to ban brass knuckles for minors as a way to deter youth violence.

Council members also will consider an ordinance that would hold parents and guardians responsible for unruly gatherings involving juveniles at their homes.

The Chandler brass knuckles ban would make it illegal for juveniles to possess the dangerous weapons in the city or for somebody to sell or give them to a minor.

After discussing the proposals during Thursday’s meeting, which starts at 6 p.m., the City Council will vote on whether to introduce them. The next step would be a vote to adopt the ordinances on May 23. If passed then, the laws would take effect June 24.

How communities are responding to East Valley youth violence issue

Youth violence has become a major issue after a string of assaults in suburbs southeast of Phoenix, including the October 2023 fatal attack on Preston Lord in Queen Creek.

In February of this year, the Chandler City Council adopted a resolution “to actively work to investigate acts of youth violence and to prevent such violence through education and community involvement with youth.”

Chandler officials, including Mayor Kevin Hartke, hosted a community listening session on youth violence last month.

“The issue is not going away,” Hartke told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News afterward. “Neighbors and residents are much more in tune to seeing what cities are doing and seeing how cities are responding to similar issues.”

The city also created a teen violence web page with information about the issue and a list of nonprofit resources.

In neighboring Gilbert, a group of violent youths known as the Gilbert Goons was officially designated as a criminal street gang last week. Alleged members of the Goons have been implicated in multiple East Valley assault cases.

A proposed statewide brass knuckles ban failed to make it through the Legislature this year, but the easily concealed weapons can be regulated at the local level.

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Chandler City Council considering brass knuckles ban as a way to deter youth violence