House Republican leaders blast one of their own for introducing a bill that would in essence repeal some of Georgia’s sex offender laws.
Rep. Sam Moore (R-Canton), who was just sworn into office last week, introduced House Bill 1033 with the intent to repeal the state’s loitering law. But by doing so, it would also do away with the provision that prevents sex offenders from going near daycares, schools, and parks.
It drew swift reaction from Republican leaders.
“I’m not only embarrassed, this state should be embarrassed, this country should be embarrassed that anybody would even consider something like this,” says Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun), chair of the House Rules Committee.
Moore, who sat through all of the remarks in the House Chamber, said afterwards it was not his intent to weaken the laws that protect children. He simply wanted to strengthen the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent when questioned by a police officer.
“To have them choose to do that in such a public way instead of putting an arm around me and saying ‘You didn’t think this through’; no one did that,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Moore admits he was warned by legislative legal counsel that repealing the entire loitering law would also affect sex offenders. But he felt it could all be worked out through the committee process.
“What can we do make sure that we have our Fifth Amendment rights to get rid of vague laws and still protect the children as much as we possibly can,” he says.
Moore won a special election runoff Feb. 11 to fill the seat of Rep. Calvin Hill who died last year.