State Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, amended the legislation to also allow those conducting business on someone else’s property to detain someone who is suspected of committing a crime. The amendment was endorsed by several of his Republican colleagues and passed 33-19 on a party-line vote.
Passage of the bill would make Georgia the first state to remove a citizen’s arrest statute from its books. All 50 states have a version of the law in place.
State Rep. Bert Reeves, a Marietta Republican who sponsored HB 479 on behalf of Kemp, said he was studying the amendment, but at first glance he didn’t believe it would hurt the bill’s chances of final approval.
Current state law allows any Georgian who believes he has witnessed a crime to arrest the suspected offender if the crime “is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge.” If the crime is a felony and the person suspected of committing it is trying to flee, Georgians are allowed to arrest that person “upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”