“A glaring weakness in our effort to combat gun violence is the fact that you have Raise the Age that still permits 16- and 17-year-olds to possess loaded firearms,” Albany District Attorney David Soares told The Post in a critique of the public-safety goals Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined in her State of the State speech.
Right on: It’s another huge omission when Hochul’s claiming to put public safety first.
Soares, a George Soros-backed progressive, has long flagged the issues with Raise the Age, a 2018 law that sends most teen criminal defendants to Family Court rather than the adult justice system.
He’s also blasted Hochul and the Legislature over the no-bail law and other reforms that Soares feels have “normalized” violence. “No meaningful legislative action has been taken to address bail reform, and Raise the Age, which have demonstrably impacted violent crime in our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” he thundered after two more fatal shootings in Albany last fall.
The cookies-and-hot-chocolate approach to teen gun violence just doesn’t work, Soares told The Post.
Last fall, a bombshell NYPD analysis revealed that the number of teen shooters and victims in NYC has tripled in the last five years — a deadly trend that coincides with enactment of the Raise the Age law. The report also noted that teen recidivism has shot up since 2017.
That is: Adolescents are a prime driver of the frightening rise in gun violence across the city. Worse, this means more young people beginning a life of crime — meaning big trouble for the future, with a growing criminal class.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie prides himself on being a “numbers guy,” but ignores the data showing that the Raise the Age law has been a disaster for minority teens. Instead, he stands by his theory that teenage brains just can’t learn self-restraint, so it’s just wrong to hold young people responsible — no matter the consequences to society, or to them.
So he won’t consider fixing RTA, and Hochul’s plainly unwilling to force the issue. And the body count of young victims in minority communities around the state will keep rising.
Never mind that the gov holds immense power in budget negotiations to insist on legal changes: She’s determined to work with the Legislature, no matter how little legislators want to work with her on anything besides spending and taxing ever more.