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Tanner proposes bill to limit no-knock warrants
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With an 18-year career in law enforcement, including many with a multi-county narcotics unit, State Rep. Kevin Tanner executed his fair share of arrest warrants.

While most were announced upon arrival at the suspects' homes, others were performed with a no-knock provision.

"I was in law enforcement a longtime...and I've done a lot of search warrants. I know there is a need for no-knocks," he said. "It's not something we need to do away with, but the process needs to be tightened down."

The Dawsonville Republican introduced legislation that, if passed, would place restrictions on the time no-knock warrants can be executed, as well as require agencies to have policies in place to use them.

"The legislation requires training and a supervisor to sign off on the warrant," he said. "There has to be a written operation plan done. There would have to be a briefing done prior to the search warrant and a supervisor has to be on the scene."

HB 56 also restricts the use of no-knock warrants between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless a judge believes there is just cause.

While Tanner has been working on the legislation for the last two years, a 3 a.m. no-knock warrant in Habersham County, where a grenade was tossed into a home and landed in a baby's bed, has sparked a public outcry for an outright ban of the practice.

Tanner said a complete ban is not his intention.

"It's an important topic, and this is an important tool that law enforcement has," he said.