Georgia lawmakers pushing for tougher gun laws

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Democratic lawmakers are calling for tougher gun legislation in the wake of the recent violence. This past weekend there were at least 13 mass shootings claiming more than a dozen lives and leaving over 70 people injured.

Representative Sandra Scott mentioned several proposals. The top area of concern for her and several other state democrats is the ease of access to assault weapons. They’re pushing for a ban on those types of firearms or an increase in the minimum age requirement to buy them.

Amid the string of gun violence, Georgia Democrats are calling for tougher gun laws. Proposals include banning Glock switches in Georgia, which allow people to turn handguns into machine guns, either raising the minimum age to buy an assault weapon to 21 or banning those firearms across the state and strengthening background checks.

“I don’t have any problem with a background check, and you know we have those background checks now,” said Alton Russell, chairman of the Columbus-Muscogee County Republican Party.

“I know they’re saying that we can’t stop it, but we can what we can do to try to stop it. We must do something. Doing nothing is not an option,” said State House Representative Sandra Scott is at the forefront of these pieces of legislation.

She says her focus is making sure the wrong people are not getting their hands on these weapons.

“I have received emails from people saying, ‘Why are you trying to take my gun?’ I’m not trying to take it. But these guns got to be in the right hands,” said Rep. Scott.

A major focus is on AR 15-style weapons, often used in mass shootings.

“We’re talking about weapons that can be used to mow down people within seconds. No one needs those type of weapons,” said Rep. Scott.

“It don’t matter if you use a 22. If it’s in the wrong hands, the 22 is gonna do the same damage as a AR 15. So that is why we need to blame the shooter, not the gun,” said Russell.

Russell doesn’t think gun laws need to change. Instead, he thinks the focus should be on addressing the state’s mental health crisis.

“There’s no legislation that’s going to prevent guns from getting in the hands of bad people,” said Russell.

Rep. Scott said they’re simply pushing for the passage of these proposals. However, it won’t be until next year when the legislature convenes before lawmakers vote on this legislation.

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