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Gov. Kemp’s Statement on Unanimous Passage of Citizen’s Arrest Overhaul

Governor Brian P. Kemp yesterday issued the following statement applauding the passage of HB 479, an overhaul to Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute, following a unanimous vote in the Georgia House of Representatives:

“The unanimous passage of HB 479 by the Georgia House is an important step in our efforts to root out injustice in the Peach State, while also protecting the sacred right to defend oneself and others,” said Governor Kemp. “With broad, bipartisan support, our overhaul of the citizen’s arrest statute strikes a critical balance between protecting the lives and livelihoods of our families, our friends, and our neighbors, and preventing rogue vigilantism from threatening the security and God-given potential of all Georgians.

“This legislation is first and foremost about doing our part to leave behind a better Georgia for our children and grandchildren. I want to thank Representative Bert Reeves (R – Marietta), lead sponsor of HB 479, and every member of the House for doing what is right for the people of Georgia. I look forward to the bill’s passage in the Senate as we continue to work toward a safer, more just future for all who call the Peach State home.”

First Reader Summary of House Bill 479: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 17 of the O.C.G.A., relating to criminal procedure, so as to revise certain arrest powers; to provide for arrests by a law enforcement officer outside of the jurisdiction of his or her employing law enforcement agency under certain circumstances; to revise the grounds for arrest by a private person; to repeal in its entirety Article 4 of Chapter 4, relating to arrest by private persons; to amend Article 5 of Chapter 2 of Title 35 of the O.C.G.A., relating to motor carrier compliance division; to amend Chapter 38 of Title 43 of the O.C.G.A., relating to operators of private detective businesses and private security businesses; to amend Article 4 of Chapter 7 of Title 51 of the O.C.G.A., relating to detention or arrest on suspicion of shoplifting or film piracy; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

house bill 479 march 2021
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