AG's Office: Juvenile Gun Possession a "Serious Threat" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

AG's Office: Juvenile Gun Possession a "Serious Threat"

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DOVER, Del. - Attorney General Matt Denn released a new set of initiatives Friday morning, in order to address what he called "one of the most serious threats to public safety" that he's seen in Delaware: Juvenile Gun Possession.

Denn said that for a long time, there has been a perceived lack of consequences for juveniles. Now Denn is releasing three major policies, with the hope that they will curb the amount of gun offenses committed by minors.

The first policy would call for adult prosecution for certain serious or repeat juvenile offenders. The second would make it possible to hold certain juveniles in custody, while they await trial, rather than releasing them to their family. Third of all, Denn is looking for increased sentencing for those juveniles going through family court.

"We have to ensure that there are consequences," Denn said. "And that juveniles know about these consequences." 

In Georgetown, defense attorney John Brady said that this was a transition away from the traditional treatment of juveniles which typically tends to focus on rehabilitation.

"Defense attorneys and child advocates are gonna get a little upset that it's looking at punishment," he said. "When it's supposed to be rehabilitation. But I believe the Attorney General is on sound legal ground because he's only looking at the worst of the worst."

At M&L Guns in Dagsboro, Owner Mark Derrickson said he is on board with the new initiative.

"If you're going to rob a store," he said. "I don't care if you're 15 or 25. If you got a handgun in your hands, you should pay the price."

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