New Laws Address Teen Violence

July 9, 2024
| by:
Mayor Kevin Hartke

One of our primary responsibilities is to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. The City Council has heard from Chandler residents who have witnessed or been victimized by senseless acts of teen violence in the southeast Valley. These altercations pose a direct threat to young people, undermining the safety and security that every resident deserves.

We have listened to the community’s concerns and committed to taking a regional leadership role to deter teen violence. We condemned teen violence via a City Council resolution and held a community listening session that engaged residents, police and behavioral health experts in an intimate dialogue about teen resources and safety solutions.

We unanimously voted to adopt new laws that took effect on June 24 aimed at fostering a safer environment for all residents. These laws prohibit unruly gathering and people under 18 from possessing brass knuckles. Chandler Police have additional tools to disperse unruly gatherings and hold those responsible or in attendance accountable.

People responsible for or attending an unruly gathering can be cited. Parents and guardians can face violations for actions of their children under 18 years old. Violators can be charged with a class one misdemeanor if any of the following occur:

  • person under 21 possessing or consuming alcohol
  • illegal drugs
  • act designated a felony under state law
  • physical altercation that results in injury
  • previous citation for unruly gathering within prior 180 days

Brass/metal knuckles can cause severe injury or death. We have enacted a strict ban on the possession of these products for people under 18 years old. Violations can result in a class one misdemeanor charge.

A class one misdemeanor charge is the most serious offense that can be prosecuted in municipal court. It can carry fines up to $2,500 with the possibility of jail time and probation if found guilty. 

The decision to implement these laws was not taken lightly. Our goal is to protect teens, young adults and the broader community from harm, not to penalize young people.

By prohibiting unruly gatherings and banning brass knuckles, we aim to:

  • Reduce incidents of teen violence: Creating safer gatherings and reducing minor’s access to brass/metal weapons.
  • Promote responsible behavior: Instilling awareness and accountability among teens, parents and properties involved in gatherings.
  • Enhance community well-being: Fostering a safer environment in a strong, connected community where everyone can thrive.

We understand these changes may require an adjustment period, and we are committed to working with residents to ensure a smooth transition. Extensive education and outreach programs are being implemented to inform teens, young adults, parents and school administrators about these laws and the importance of adhering to them. Visit for details.

Your awareness, cooperation and support of these laws are crucial as we strive to make Chandler a safe place for everyone. We encourage you to stay informed, get involved in community initiatives, and reach out to us with any concerns or suggestions.

Together, we can tackle the issue of teen violence and build a community where safety and respect are paramount.