Tax collection is also another area of criminal activities, where most gangs in America are well established. In California, an area that is claimed to be the territory of the 18th Street gang, members of the gang will collect tax from businesses. The potential taxpayers include drug dealers, street vendors, shop owners, prostitutes and any other form of business that exist in the neighborhood. The gang members threaten to kill any person who declines to pay the tax. For example, in 1995 alone, the office of the California County District Attorney prosecuted 35 murders, which were the results of the hit made by the members of the notorious 18th Street gang for failure to pay taxes (Walker 8).
As the enforcement of the law puts pressure on the violent activities in America, some of the gang members have become involved in some nonviolent criminal enterprises like creating fraudulent Immigration and Naturalization Service’s immigration cards, identification cards, credit cards and food stamps among others. For example, the Clanton Street gang was at some point active in the cellular telephone market of cloning, but this activity is declining as the days go by, because of the introduction of the digital cellular phone services.
Easy access to firearms has increased the threat from gangs even greater. Not long ago, most disputes between members of a gang were solved with their fists. Nowadays, they are often solved with semiautomatic weapons and hand guns. Today, America has over 300 million guns, twice as many as in 1980.