Georgia Lawmakers to Focus on Gun Control

by T.A. DeFeo


Coinciding with an uptick in gang violence in the state and mass shootings nationwide, state lawmakers are likely to consider gun legislation during this year’s General Assembly session.

Last year, Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, a “constitutional carry” measure allowing Georgians to carry guns without needing a state-issued license. State Democrats derided the move, saying it would lead to more shootings in the state.

Last week, members of Georgia’s Legislative Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus issued a statement condemning a shooting in Monterey Park, California.

“But, more than that, to honor the lives of those who were senselessly taken and needlessly injured, we pledge our energy and action towards advancing concrete solutions to address gun violence in our communities,” they said in a statement.

The group did not respond to a request for more details about specific legislation they might announce.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, introduced a measure to impose a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who uses a gun during the commission — or attempted commission — of a violent felony.

Senate Bill 7, the “Gangs, Guns, Gone” bill, would require judges to hand down mandatory minimum sentences in cases where someone uses a gun during a violent felony, even if they did not discharge a weapon. Under the proposal, anyone convicted under the statute must serve the time before any other sentence, which cannot be shortened by any sentence-reducing measures.

“We are not going to allow these District Attorneys to let these violent offenders back out on the street,” Beach said in a statement. “Anyone who commits any of these violent crimes at gunpoint should not be allowed to walk away.”

The measure has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

State Rep. Sandra Scott, D-Rex, previously told The Center Square she plans to file several pieces of legislation, including a measure to prevent Glock owners from turning the guns into automatic weapons. She also said lawmakers are also eying bills similar to House bills 962 and 971 — which did not advance during last year’s session — to require firearm dealers to furnish gun locks in all retail firearm sales and require owners to report lost or stolen firearms.

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T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Sandra Scott” by Georgia House of Representatives.


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