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What Fort Myers Parents Need to Know About the Juvenile Justice Bill


A new “Juvenile Justice Bill” could soon become law in Florida, and it would change the way the State approaches juvenile crimes. Specifically, it would lead to much stricter penalties for juveniles who commit various gun violations. This is a clear response to growing concerns about juvenile gun crimes in the Sunshine State, and those who feel threatened are voicing their support for the bill. However, parents may view these new laws in a very different light if their children ever face heightened consequences for alleged gun crimes in Fort Myers. Here’s what you need to know:

Florida Sheriffs Voice Support for Juvenile Justice Bill 

In March 2024, sheriffs across Florida voiced support for a new “Juvenile Justice Bill” that would create heightened penalties for minors convicted of firearms offenses. These sheriffs claim that while crime rates are going down in many areas, children are committing more gun violations than ever before. These incidents often prove fatal, and many local residents have had enough. Law enforcement officials point out that children as young as 14 seem to have very easy access to firearms.

It goes without saying that individuals so young are virtually incapable of carrying or using firearms in a responsible manner. They simply cannot conceptualize the potential consequences. Police also point out that some teens are being quickly released after committing gun offenses – only to commit new gun crimes a few months later. These are some of the factors that seem to justify the passing of the Juvenile Justice Bill in Florida.

One recent incident involved a teen waving a gun around on New Smyrna Beach. He was eventually persuaded to surrender peacefully and drop the firearm after deputies arrived. He was just 16 years old, and the teen was apparently on spring break with friends. This shows how quickly things can escalate after a slight argument among teens armed with firearms.

What Would the Juvenile Justice Bill Accomplish? 

If this bill passes, the penalty for a minor in possession of a firearm would become a third-degree felony. Previously, this offense was prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor. The bill would also force convicted teens to serve periods of incarceration at secure detention centers. Sheriffs hope that this will “send a message.” Their belief is that if teens see their friends encountering serious penalties for firearms offenses, they will be dissuaded from committing similar crimes in the future. The bill has yet to pass – but it would go into effect on July 1st of 2024 if successful.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyer 

If your child is facing juvenile crime allegations, your best bet is to get in touch with a qualified, experienced Fort Myers gun violation attorney as soon as possible. With assistance from legal professionals, you can strive for positive outcomes – even in the face of newer, heightened penalties for juvenile gun violations. Book a consultation with Foley & Wilson today to get started with an effective action plan.




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