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SB 12 - "Protecting Victims and Dismantling Georgia Street Gangs Act"; enact
Current Version

Sponsors
No.Number in listNameDistrict
1.Albers, John56th
2.Robertson, Randy29th
3.Dugan, Mike30th
4.Payne, Chuck54th
5.Beach, Brandon21st
6.Goodman, Russ8th
Committees
House Committee:
N/A

Senate Committee:
N/A

First Reader Summary
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 16 the O.C.G.A., relating to crimes and offenses, so as to provide for sentencing to minimum terms of imprisonment for persons convicted of possession of firearms by convicted felons and first offender probationers when the offense for which such person is on probation or has been previously convicted is a forcible felony or a domestic violence felony or an act of family violence; to provide for definitions; to provide for construction; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to provide for effective dates and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Status History
DateStatus
01/23/2023Senate Hopper
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Plain English, this bill adds on to the possession of firearms by convicted felons law, 16-11-131. It has enhanced sentencing for those convicted of forcible felonies who possess a firearm. It has an enhanced penalty for those convicted of family violence felonies who possess a firearm.

Here is what else it does: Anybody convicted of any domestic violence crime, even a misdemeanor, is now subject to being arrested under state law and is subject to the same penalties as a person who previously committed murder, armed robbery, and rape, if that person has also previously been convicted of a felony or is on probation as a first offender probationer that involved any act of family violence. See lines 43 and 69-70.

This is an expansion of gun control in Georgia.

This is not quite bringing the Lautenburg Amendment brought to Georgia, something Moms Demand Action and Everytown have been demanding for years, but it is a step in that direction. And Republicans are giving to to them.

Only Section Two relates to the right to bear arms.
 

· Man of Myth and Legend
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Seems like GA2A has some work to do.

AND ALL THE REST OF YOU DOWN THERE WHO HAVE ANY INTEREST IN THESE THINGS NEED TO GET ON THE BANDWAGON TO GET IT GOING

rant over.

Nemo
 

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So, a person who is arrested for 30 grams of marijuana (which is one hundredth of an ounce over one ounce, so felony) is arrested when the police find the marijuana in her purse after they are called by her husband, whose dress shirt pocket is torn during a little tussling pushing match.

She is charged with felony drug possession and simple battery, FV. The judge sentences her to first offender probation.

She works in a dangerous part of town, at night.

She keeps a pistol in her purse for self defense.

She risks 5-10 years in prison under this bill by Rep. Albers. Does that strike you as government doing the right thing?
 

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(2) A person convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or first offender
probationer as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be imprisoned for not
less than five years nor more than ten years, provided that:​
(A) The felony for which the person is on probation or has been previously convicted​
is a forcible felony; or​
(B) The offense for which the person is on probation or has been previously convicted was a domestic violence felony or involved the occurrence of an act of family violence."​
 

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Now, to be completely transparent here, she is, under current law, risking 1-10 years in prison, which I also think is wrong, but that is the current law. If this bill passes, however, and the offense "involved the occurrence of an act of family violence," then it is 5-10. Note that the word "or" between "a domestic violence felony" and the phrase "involved the occurrence of an act of family violence." Note also the definition of family violence in line 43, which points back to all domestic violence crimes under 19-13-1. There is no requirement of an injury or even actual violence, and no requirement of a felony.

Does she deserve an extra four years in prison as a sentencing enhancer?

This is Lautenburg as a camel getting his nose under the tent.

And it is the fault of Republicans, which means this is going to pass if you do not get to work early.
 

· Sledgehammer
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Now, to be completely transparent here, she is, under current law, risking 1-10 years in prison, which I also think is wrong, but that is the current law. If this bill passes, however, and the offense "involved the occurrence of an act of family violence," then it is 5-10. Note that the word "or" between "a domestic violence felony" and the phrase "involved the occurrence of an act of family violence." Note also the definition of family violence in line 43, which points back to all domestic violence crimes under 19-13-1. There is no requirement of an injury or even actual violence, and no requirement of a felony.

Does she deserve an extra four years in prison as a sentencing enhancer?

This is Lautenburg as a camel getting his nose under the tent.

And it is the fault of Republicans, which means this is going to pass if you do not get to work early.
I don't think the words in red are completely correct. The intro says the person has to be a convicted felon or first offender probationer as provided in paragraph (1). Paragraph 1 says the person must be a convicted felon or felony first offender probationer. Then the proposed 2(B) (that MP is quoting) says "the offense for which the person is on probation or has been previously convicted...." That refers back to the offense in paragraph 1 (that only can be a felony).

So what this bill really does is enhance penalties for (certain) felons in possession. Is this the most burning issue in GA? Clearly not. But it does not cross the line into Lautenberg.
 

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The words in red refer to 19-3-1 only. Sorry if I was not clear. SB12 does require a previous felony, but not a domestic violence felony. It can be a felony that "involved the occurrence of an act of family violence," see line 69, which as you know, under 19-13-1, see line 43, does not need to involve "violence," as most think of it, nor does the felony need to be violent or family violence (due to the word "or" on line 69).

As I said in post #2, "This is not quite bringing the Lautenburg Amendment brought to Georgia, something Moms Demand Action and Everytown have been demanding for years, but it is a step in that direction."

There is no reason for a mere misdemeanor to be a sentencing enhancement that costs a minimum of an additional 4 years.
 

· Sledgehammer
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I'm still not with you on a misdemeanor causing a sentence enhancement. Mind you, I think the bill could (and should) be written better to avoid this confusion, but I don't reach the misdemeanor conclusion that you do. I think you're looking at Lines 68-69, "The offense for which the person is on probation or has been previously convicted was a domestic violence felony or involved the occurrence of an act of family violence."

You are reading, I believe, the blue language to include misdemeanor acts of family violence. I would agree with you that it otherwise would include misdemeanors, but the red language refers back to the existing 16-11-131(b)(1), which only includes felonies. Because the proposed 16-11-131(b)(2) specifically refers back to the existing 16-11-131(b)(1) (which only applies to felonies), the "offense for which the person is on probation has been previously convicted" can only applies to felonies. So the occurrence of an act of family violence only applies to felonies.
 

· Sledgehammer
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That would be correct if "domestic violence felony" were redundant with "occurrence of an act of family violence [that was a felony]". But it's not. there are two separate definitions of domestic violence and family violence and they do not completely coincide. As I said, this could be written much better. But your interpretation ignores the words. Mine just accommodates very significant (but incomplete) overlap.
 

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When you have two, well-educated lawyers who have two completely different understandings of a bill, SOMETHING needs to be re-written. Otherwise, plain old, normal dumbasses like me could get really confused.
 
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jrm, with the 87 different versions of gender floating around, how in the hell can you define "family" or "domestic" anymore?
 
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