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PBAGA Legislative Update - January 2012

 
The Second Term of the 2011-12 State Legislative Session began on January 9, 2012. This session may last up to 40 legislative days and is anticipated to end sometime in April. Any bill that did not pass in the First Term may be carried over to the Second Term. 
 
 [*] Indicates new bill or change since 2011 Final Report. 
 
HB 109 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Mark Hamilton and others. It would add a new code section OCGA 21- 5-77 to make it a crime for most public employees to use government computers, tele-communication devises, or similar equipment for the purpose of lobbying for or against legislation. Exempts certain elected and management personnel so they can continue to lobby without restriction. This bill is assigned to the House Government Affairs Committee. (Note: Rep. Hamilton is the chairman of this committee but he said last year that he does not plan to bring this bill out of committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/109  
 
HB 206 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Ralph Long and others. It would amend OCGA 45-1-4 to clarify and strengthen the definition of retaliation under the state whistleblower law. This bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee (very unlikely to get out of committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/206  
 
HB 286 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Pete Marin and others. It proposes to amend OCGA 16-11-129 to require new applicants and renewals for a weapons carry license for persons born after July 1, 1991 to attend a firearms safety course. This bill is assigned to the House Public Safety Committee (extremely unlikely to get out of committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/286  
 
HB 348 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Stephen Allison and others. It proposes to amend OCGA 16-11-40 to further define criminal defamation. This bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (unlikely to pass out of committee in its present form). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/348  
 
HB 541 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Bubber Epps and others. It proposes to create a new code section OCGA 16-10-34 which will make it a felony to harm, threaten or intimidate a law enforcement officer, public official, or participant in a judicial proceeding.  This bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/541  
 
HB 620 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Allan Powell and others. It proposes to amend OCGA Titles 16, 17, 19, 35, 40, 42, 43, 45, and 49 would combine parole and probation officers to create the Department of Probation/Parole Community Based Supervision. The new department would be assigned to the Department of Corrections for administrative purposes only. This bill is assigned to the House Public Safety Committee (unlikely to come back up in committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/620  
 
HB 625 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Mark Hatfield. It proposes to amend OCGA 47-17-1 and 47-17-72 to allow communication officers to participate in the POAB. This bill is assigned to the House Retirement Committee (very unlikely to get out of committee).  http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/625  
 
*HB 679 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Jason Spencer and others. It is known as Georgia Constitutional Carry Act. It proposes to amend OCGA 12-3-10, 16-11-125.1, 16-11-126, 16-11-127, 16-11-127.1, 16-11-129, 16-11-135, 16-12-123, 16-12-127, 27-3-1.1, 27-3-6, 27-4-11.1, and 40-6-228 so as to greatly expand the rights of a “lawful weapons carrier” to include possessing and carrying concealed a firearm without the need of a license. This bill is assigned to the House Public Safety Committee (pending).
 
*HB 691 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Billy Mitchell. It proposes to amend OCGA 16-2-21 to make it a misdemeanor for an eyewitness to fail to report a felony crime to a law enforcement officer or 911 operator. This bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/691  
 
*HB 735 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Roger Bruce and others. It proposes to amend OCGA 16-11-129 to require new applicants and renewals for a weapons carry license to attend a firearms safety course. This bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (very unlikely to get out of committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/735  
 
*HB 827 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Hembree and others. It proposes to create a new code section OCGA 40-6-395 that attempts to fine tune fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, impersonating an officer, and sets punishment. This bill is assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/827  
 
*HB 828 – This bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Hembree and others. It proposes to create two new code sections OCGA 40-6-395 attempts to fine tune fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, impersonating an officer, and sets punishment; and 40-6-395.1 which makes any motor vehicle used in violation of OCGA 40-6-395 contraband and subject to forfeiture. This bill is assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/HB/828  
 
SB 26 – This bill is sponsored by Senator David Schafer and others. It proposes to create OCGA 16-11-136 that would provide protections to the lawful possession of firearms during a state of emergency. This bill was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee by substitute on April 11, 2011 and was recommitted to the committee when it failed to come up for a floor vote by the end of the session (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/26  
 
SB 83 – This bill is sponsored by Senator Steve Thompson and is known as “Rachel’s Law.” It proposes a new code OCGA 35-1-16 that would place specific legal guidelines in the use of confidential informants. This bill is assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee (unlikely to come out of committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/83  
 
SB 98 – This bill is sponsored by Senator Barry Loudermilk and others. It proposes a new code OCGA 16-11-127.2(a.1) to clarify the places a person with a valid carry licenses can and cannot lawfully possess a firearm. This bill is assigned to the House Public Safety Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/98  
 
SB 102 – This bill is sponsored by Senator Jeff Mullis and others. It proposes to amend OCGA 16-11-125.1 thru 16-11-131 as well as OCGA 16-11-173 and adds OCGA 16-11-136 related to firearms definitions; carry requirements, restrictions, applications, background investigations, and disqualifications; license design; and restrict government intrusion during a state of emergency. This bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/102  
 
SB 133 – This bill is sponsored by Senators Curt Thompson and Fran Millar. It proposes to amend OCGA  35-8-8(a)(2) to  allow an alien who has been given permanent resident status to be employed and certified as a peace officer. This bill is assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee (unlikely to get out of committee). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/133  
 
*SB 225 – This bill is sponsored by Senator Butch Miller and others. It proposes to create a new code OCGA 16-10-26.1 making it a felony to transmit a false report of a violent crime that causes a law enforcement agency to initiate an investigation. This bill was favorably reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by substitute on March 11, 2011. It did not make it to the floor for a vote  and was re-committed to the committee on January 9, 2012 (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/225  
 
SB 231 – This bill is sponsored by Senators Lindsey Tippins and Tommy Williams. It proposes to amend OCGA 42-8-60(d) to specifically add crimes of violence against police officers to the list of crimes denied first offender status. This bill was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee last year and was re-committed to committee when the session ended (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/231  
 
SB 242 – This bill is sponsored by Senators Steve Thompson and George Hooks. It proposes to amend OCGA 47-17-81 to allow a dues paying member of the fund to collect $500 per month upon a line of duty total and permanent disability. This bill is assigned to the Senate Retirement Committee (pending). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/242  
 
*SB 301 – This bill is sponsored by Senator John Bulloch. It proposes to amend OCGA 27-3-4 to allow any firearm authorized for use in hunting or taking of game to be equipped with a silencer. This is currently allowed under federal law and just removes a restriction under Georgia law for otherwise legally qualified individuals. This bill was passed by the Senate on January 31, 2012 (moves to the House). http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/301  
 
*SB 350 – This bill is sponsored by Senator Don Balfour and others. It proposes to amend OCGA 16-16-2, 17-5-51, and 17-5-52 as related to returning or selling firearms no longer being held for evidentiary purposes. This bill is assigned in the Senate Judiciary Committee (pending).  http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20112012/SB/350

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