State Updates: Guns, Criminalizing Youth, Mental Health

Georgia Coalition Indivisible – State Legislative Update
  • Guns:
    SB 224 passed Senate Judiciary late 3.3.20.
    It is a bill to expand gun rights. Call your Republican state senator and the Lt. Gov. (404-656-5030) and tell them it is unacceptable to pass bills that further endanger citizens under cover of darkness.
  • This legislation would allow: weapon carry in churches, courtrooms used by courts other than superior court; eliminate the prohibition on people that have received a misdemeanor drug conviction from obtaining carry permits for five years; allow people with carry permits to carry knives designed as weapons in the same parts of airports as currently allowed for guns; allow convicted felons to possess antique firearms made before 1898 or replicas that don’t use commercially available ammunition; require local governments with at least 5 guns confiscated from criminals to hold auctions every year or else anyone could sue to make the government auction the guns and for damages; prohibit the National Guard from closing gun stores during undeclared emergencies; give immunity to property owners that allow guns against claims that they could have prevented an incident by restricting guns.
  • Voting:
  • HB117- Same county voting is receiving a hearing from the election subcommittee of the government affairs committee. This bill would allow for an election day vote-center model–i.e., vote anywhere in your home county. This could reduce by more than 50% the number of provisional ballots cast, particularly in urban counties. Hearing is at 4pm, 3/4/2020 in room 403 of the capitol. Please attend if you can, otherwise please contact members of the government affairs committee.
  • Criminal Justice:
  • Public hearing on Thursday 3.5.2020, CLOB, Room 605
  • HB994 – “Gang Bill” Georgia anti-gang law already sets prison sentences of up to 20 years for a conviction. It’s among the toughest penalties in the country. This bill targets children 13-17. We are adamantly opposed to this bill.
  • This article from Savannah Now explains the issues with this bill.
  • 11 Alive aired this report on the bill.
  • HB847 – This bill would criminalize carrying hemp without a license. Oppose. This bill essentially re-criminalizes carrying small amounts of hemp. Contact Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.

    See this article from High Times regarding re-criminalization.
  • HB636 – Use of Force Data Collection Act – Please speak in favor of this bill. We need to be able to track use of force encounters that police have with the public.
  • Contact House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee .
  • Criminal Justice and Mental Health:
  • Please sign this petition to remove Rockdale County Sheriff Eric J. Levett
  • A Special Grand Jury impaneled by Rockdale County’s District Attorney Alisha A. Johnson released an 84 page special Grand Jury Presentation. The letter from District Attorney Johnson reads, “The Grand Jury found that medical, mental health, and jail staff through complacency, reluctance, assumptions and lack of procedures, training, leadership and adherence to policy, failed to recognize and adequately address the mental state and physical decline of Shali Tilson.” Read more on the petition at the link above about conditions in the jail at the time of Tilson’s death and the disregard of this fellow citizen’s life.

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