(Media release from the Office of Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr):

Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr commends the final passage of HB 1134, legislation that provides the Office of the Attorney General with concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute criminal gang activity statewide. This legislation is reinforced by Governor Brian Kemp’s budget proposal to create the state’s first-ever Gang Prosecution Unit in the Attorney General’s Office.

“Protecting all Georgians remains our top priority, and we must dedicate every resource available to disrupting the growing gang networks that are infiltrating our communities and will stop at nothing to turn a profit,” said Attorney General Carr. “With this legislation and the creation of a new Gang Prosecution Unit, our office will serve as a force multiplier by working hand-in-hand with our local, state and federal partners to ensure Georgians are kept safe and violent criminals are put behind bars. We are proud to be in the fight against criminal gang activity in our state, and we appreciate the members of the House and Senate who helped to secure the passage of this critical legislation.”

“The passage of HB 1134 will give us even more momentum in the ongoing fight against criminal street gangs,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “I commend Chairman Chuck Efstration for introducing this important bill and thank all who voted ‘yay’ in support of public safety. I will gladly sign this bill into law, and I also have the utmost faith in the Office of the Attorney General to utilize this new law and the funding set aside in our budget to build a Gang Prosecution Unit that works with state and local law enforcement partners to root out gang activity in the Peach State and protect Georgians.”

Criminal gang activity impacts every one of Georgia’s communities, and member recruitment is on the rise. To strengthen Georgia’s response to this increase in organized crime, Attorney General Carr launched the Georgia Anti-Gang Network in 2018. With local, state and federal law enforcement partners, the Anti-Gang Network aims to strengthen multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions, improve intelligence sharing capabilities, stop recruitment and increase training efforts. Governor Kemp recently attended the Network’s 7th meeting to share his 2022 public safety agenda, including the proposed Gang Prosecution Unit.

The Attorney General’s Office would like to recognize Chairman Chuck Efstration for sponsoring HB 1134, Chairman John F. Kennedy for carrying the legislation in the Senate, and House and Senate leadership for their support of this measure.

HB 1134 is also supported by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Georgia’s major retailers, including the Home Depot.