2014 Georgia Code
§ 16-15-2 - Legislative findings and intent

GA Code § 16-15-2 (2014) What's This?

(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that it is the right of every person to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. It is not the intent of this chapter to interfere with the exercise of the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The General Assembly recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to harbor and express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to associate lawfully with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(b) The General Assembly, however, further finds that the State of Georgia is in a state of crisis which has been caused by violent criminal street gangs whose members threaten, terrorize, and commit a multitude of crimes against the peaceful citizens of their neighborhoods. These activities, both individually and collectively, present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected.

(c) The General Assembly finds that there are criminal street gangs operating in Georgia and that the number of gang related murders is increasing. It is the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this chapter to seek the eradication of criminal activity by criminal street gangs by focusing upon criminal gang activity and upon the organized nature of criminal street gangs which together are the chief source of terror created by criminal street gangs.

(d) The General Assembly further finds that an effective means of punishing and deterring the criminal activities of criminal street gangs is through forfeiture of the profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities acquired, accumulated, or used by criminal street gangs.

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