learn more about the policy proposals supported by the Georgia Coalition for Safe Communities:
Georgia State legislation
Georgia Citizen's arrest reform - HB 479 (2021-2022 Session)
The legislation would overhaul the state’s Citizen's Arrest statute to help eliminate “any potential legal loopholes that could be used to justify vigilantism." The bill follows the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery by three men in south Georgia, whom prosecutors at the time declined to charge, citing the state's Citizen's Arrest statute. Currently, a “private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge."
According to Gov. Brian Kemp, “This bill repeals the current Civil War-era statute in order to prevent the terrible consequences of a vague and outdated law, and clarifies when a citizen, business owner, or law enforcement officer may reasonably detain an individual.”
The Georgia NAACP has commended Gov. Kemp for maintaining his commitment to being the first state in the nation to repeal its Citizen’s Arrest statute.
Georgia SB 150 (2019-2020 session)
This legislation would prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of family violence from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm. It would also prohibit those who are subjects of family violence protective orders from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm.
This legislation would reverse a 2017 law that allows people with state licenses to carry firearms on many parts of school safety zones, at school functions, or on a bus furnished by a school. It would also revoke the authorization for the carrying and possession of handguns on land owned or leased to public colleges and universities.
H.R.8: Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
This legislation would require a background check for every firearm sale to ensure those who are prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms.
H.R.1112: The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019
This legislation would strengthen the background check procedures federal firearms licensees or dealers must follow before selling or transferring a firearm. It would require background checks on all commercial gun sales, including those at gun shows and over the internet. This bill would close the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within three days.
H.R.1287: No Guns for Abusers Act of 2019
This legislation would authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make grants for state and local governments to implement procedures to remove firearms from individuals who are charged with or convicted of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence protective order. Additionally, the bill would set forth the following requirements:
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) must report to Congress on best practices for implementing such procedures,
The NIJ must contract with nongovernmental entities to study the comparative effectiveness of such procedures, and
DOJ must submit federal legislative recommendations in accordance with the best practices.
H.R.3076/S.2521: Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019
This legislation empowers law enforcement to ensure that those who pose a threat to themselves or others do not have access to firearms. There are currently fifteen states and the District of Columbia who have enacted a similar extreme risk law which allows law enforcement adequate time to respond to warning signs of a planned shooting or suicide.
S.66: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019
This legislation would ban the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. It would also ban any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristic. The bill would also ban magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. For all provisions, existing owners may keep existing weapons and magazines.
H.R.435: National Gun Violence Research Act of 2019
This legislation would amend various provisions of law and sets forth new provisions to promote gun violence research. The bill would:
Remove limitations on the use of firearms tracing data by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;
Permit funds made available to the Department of Health and Human Services to be used for gun violence research;
Establish the National Gun Violence Research Program to promote gun violence research; and
Authorize various competitive grants to support research into the nature, causes, consequences, and prevention of gun violence.