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Democrats, Republicans proposing many gun bills in state legislature, but no support yet

Democrats are getting no love from GOP on Georgia bills to safely store guns.

ATLANTA — So far, this year’s Georgia legislature has seen a new gun bill about every day of the session.

Most are proposals from Democrats, but there is a broad range of them.  The bills seem to reflect the state’s updated political reality – that pro-gun lawmakers and a pro-gun governor are running the show.

Republican state Sen. Colton Moore (R-Trenton) has introduced a gun bill that would require Georgia law enforcement to not enforce federal gun restrictions.

"We’re not telling the federal government they can’t make bad executive orders. We’re just saying we as Georgians aren’t going to be responsible for enforcing that," Moore told 11Alive News Wednesday. "If they want to enforce that, they need to come enforce it themselves. We’re not going to put our law enforcement in harm’s way."

Moore’s bill, the "second amendment preservation act," comes on the heels of last year’s pro-gun enactment of "constitutional carry," which eliminated Georgia’s requirement for a state-issued gun carry permit.

In the first 14 days of the legislative session, 14 bills have appeared that include the word firearms -- averaging one per day. Republicans have only a couple so far.

Here is what the Republicans are proposing thus far:

  • One stiffens penalties for crimes committed with a gun;
  • Another is Moore’s second amendment preservation act.

Democrats have introduced gun bills ranging from:

  • Requiring a universal background check and 
  • A three day waiting period for gun purchases; 
  • One recognizes gun violence as a public health problem. 
  • Three bills would tighten rules on storage of firearms.

Democratic Reps. Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek) and Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) dropped two of the gun storage bills.         

"Gun safety should not be a partisan issue. It’s about keeping our communities safer, which everyone seems to want. Its about keeping our kids safer, which everyone seems to want," Au said in an interview Wednesday.

Yet they say no Republican has been willing to co-sponsor a bill requiring safe firearm storage. "That’s very frustrating," Oliver said.

Moore said if a storage law impeded an adult's legal access to a gun, then it’s a second amendment infringement.

"Is it really a safe storage?" Moore asked. "If I don’t have the ability to access that, then that’s not really bringing safety to the situation" if the gun is needed for self-defense.

Republicans like Moore hold the legislative majority.  Republicans will decide whether any Democratic gun bills will advance this session.  

Democrats aren’t holding their breath.

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