LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The so-called "gang violence bill" has taken a big step towards passage.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 169 after intense debate. The bill makes gang recruiting a crime and increases prison time for those convicted of gang-related activity.

Supporters, including the Louisville Metro Police Department, say the bill gives police and prosecutors another tool to reduce violence. But opponents argue it does nothing to prevent gangs and could have unintended consequences.

"So I am asking you, table this for now until you can think through what else has to be done to really eliminate gangs in our communities, so that we can all be safe," said Sadiqa Reynolds, of the Louisville Urban League. "Because what you may do if you push this, is move these folks to a different neighborhood."

The bill was approved, even though several senators expressed concern. It now goes to the full Senate. The bill has already passed the House.

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