Georgia gun safety advocates to travel to Atlanta Wednesday

Published: Feb. 19, 2019 at 6:01 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hundreds from the Georgia Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, including several dozen supporters from the Savannah area, will travel to Atlanta Wednesday in hopes of changing Georgia’s gun laws.

"We have a gun violence problem in Savannah," said Anne Allen Westbrook, the state legislative lead for the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "That's not going to be a surprise to anyone who lives here. It's something that we have struggled with for years, and we really believe that lax gun laws are a big part of that problem."

Westbrook said Tuesday about two-dozen moms and supporters from Savannah are planning to go to Atlanta on Wednesday. She said the group’s biggest push is for better background checks, saying data shows states requiring one for every gun sale dramatically decreases gun violence.

"The data tells us that when we require a background check on every sale of a firearm, the states that have done that have seen their gun violence really drop in half," Westbrook said. "Domestic violence goes down. Shootings of law enforcement go down. suicides go down, so that's really the policy initiative we know makes a big difference."

Current Georgia gun laws don’t require a license to store a gun in a home, vehicle or business, but does require a license to carry a gun off of your own property.

County probate judges may restrict state residents with criminal records from getting licenses, and probate court judge to approve a license application if someone has been in a mental hospital or drug treatment center within last five years.

The judge will then get a recommendation from the superintendent of the hospital or treatment center to decide if it's safe for that applicant to carry a gun.

Westbrook said it's important to know this group isn't trying to take guns away but put better regulations in place to keep people safer.

"We're a group that believes the Second Amendment can co-exist with safety," she said. "We have many gun owners in our group. We have gun owners in leadership in our Georgia chapter, so we are not at all about taking guns away or repealing the Second Amendment. We are really about promoting safety through policy as well as through education."

If you are interested in attending Wednesday’s advocacy day, you can find more information here.

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