srothstein wrote:There are a lot of police officers who do not like this law. They say they are letting gang members go when they have guns on them. When I asked why, they say the DA says to not prosecute. I pointed out that if they can prove the person is a gang member then he is still unlawfully carrying. So far, no one has come up with a way to prove a person is a gang member that a DA will accept. Cops want to go with what they "know" about a person (which is probably true but not good enough for court) and D.A.'s are not trusting the police databases where they try to track gang members.
I expect this to be one of the bases for the argument. How do you prove someone is in a criminal street gang? We might be able to hurt the argument if we wrote a rebuttable presumption in that a member who had been documented in the local police department as a gang member was a gang member. I kind of would rather leave it alone - gang members have their legal rights too and if they are not committing crimes, who cares if they have a gun?
I think this is a big part of the argument. As you say however, if a person is a gang member, he/she's unlawfully carrying. If the officer only thinks the person is a gang member, then he/she is a citizen the officer doesn't like. We all know gang members are going to carry regardless of the law; we also know good, honest, otherwise law-abiding citizens will be arrested for UCW if the law is changed back to pre-9/1/07 status. If the DA won't prosecute when the officer has evidence a person is in a gang as described in Chp. 71 of the Penal Code, then the DA needs to be changed, not the law.