Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced bipartisan legislation to overhaul Georgia's citizen's arrest statute. The bill is being carried by Kemp Administration Floor Leader Representative Bert Reeves (R - Marietta).
"I am proud to announce my administration's significant reforms to our citizen's arrest statute to prevent evil acts of vigilantism and keep our communities safe," said Governor Kemp. "One of the most fundamental rights of any citizen is the right to defend themselves or others, and this legislation does not undermine or infringe on that sacred protection. This bill repeals the current Civil War-era statute in order to prevent the terrible consequences of a vague and outdated law, and clarifies when a citizen, business owner, or law enforcement officer may reasonably detain an individual.
"Last summer, leaders under the Gold Dome took historic, bipartisan action to pass anti-hate crimes legislation and reaffirm that Georgia is a state too great for hate. Our effort to overhaul the citizen’s arrest statute builds on that work with a balanced approach to protecting the lives and livelihoods of ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors. In a national political climate where it often seems like no one can agree on anything, I am proud to say this bill has broad, bipartisan support in the General Assembly, our law enforcement community, and among civil rights advocacy groups.
"As state leaders, we owe it to our children to root out injustice wherever it is found and leave this state better than we found it. I believe Republicans and Democrats can rise to the challenge again, put aside partisan politics, and support a balanced approach to overhauling Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law."