VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - WALB’s NBC affiliate in Atlanta reports the gun used in the spas shootings last week there, was bought the same day as the killings, which they report is according to law enforcement investigating the case.
Current state law indicates there’s no waiting period when buying a gun.
According to WALB’s research, 10 states do.
State Rep. David Wilkerson said Georgia House Democrats plan to propose a five-day waiting period.
Jerry Henry, director of a pro-gun organization, told WALB there’s no study done proving positive effects of a waiting time, before buying a gun in the state.
“I think if you start doing that, you take away a lot of the law-abiding citizens’ right to defend themselves and like I said there’s no study that proves that a delay in firearms will have any kind of effect on a homicide,” said Henry, the executive director of Georgia Carry.
Georgia Carry is an organization working to make sure gun owners’ rights aren’t compromised.
Henry said the possibility of wait times to buy a gun, can be dangerous.
“If somebody is coming to my property and threatening me and saying ‘I’m coming back this afternoon or I’m going to kill you or whatever,’ if I feel threatened, I can go to a firearm dealer, I can purchase a firearm and I can come back and defend myself,” said Henry.
Henry said waiting time can especially be harmful for women in domestic violence situations.
“There’s been numerous cases throughout the United States where women who have had to wait to get a firearm and have died in the meantime because their husband or boyfriend whoever it was, came back and killed them,” said Henry.
Valdosta’s Citizens Against Violence Ministry CEO Rev. J.D. Martin said a waiting period might not make much of a difference.
“People who want to do violent acts and purchase guns are going to do whatever necessary, whether they wait or whether it’s longer. But, I think a waiting period will be helpful in the future because it gives us a chance to check them out,” said Martin.
The organization said they’re against all forms of violence and hatred towards any group. They help coordinate groups to help patrol crime and bring awareness.
Martin said it all starts in the community.
He said staying vigilant and informing when something isn’t right, makes a big difference.
“The greatest tragedy and this is a quote for Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘the greatest tragedy in America is a silent onlooker who stands silently by and watch evil triumphs and does absolutely nothing.’ Those folks that are out there, you are just as guilty as the person who committed the crime,” said Martin.
Martin believes Georgia should have stricter gun laws.
Henry said the possibility or a “wait time” will not pass under current leadership.
He said they’ll fight it if it does.
“We want law bidding citizens to be able to go to places where they normally go and be able to defend themselves if something happened like the shooter that came into Atlanta, that’s why we are talking about this. We can defend ourselves from that guy,” said Henry.
This month, the U.S. House passed two bills on stricter background checks.