Decatur state representative pushes for ban on assault weapons
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, thinks it’s time for Georgians to have a serious discussion about guns.
She’s introduced a bill for consideration in this year’s Legislative session that would ban certain assault weapons. It’s a bill that seems doomed to go nowhere in Legislature that approved a broad expansion of gun ownership rights nearly two years ago. The bill, dubbed “Guns Everywhere” by critics, expanded the rights to carry into places like bars and churches. It went into effect in July 2014.
Oliver told Decaturish she’s been encouraged by a recent Pew Poll that found 57 percent of respondents support a ban on assault weapons.
“It’s time for a more serious and intellectually honest debate about guns in Georgia,” Oliver said. “The majority of American citizens support a ban on assault weapons, based on the latest Pew poll and I am happy to represent many of my constituents who want to see a ban on assault weapons and to try to generate a serious debate. Although most Georgians support stronger gun regulation laws, the leadership has not been open to a fair debate and I think assault weapons is one issue where we need to have a discussion.”
The legislation, House Bill 731, would prohibit “the possession, sale, transport, distribution, or use of certain assault weapons, large capacity magazines, armor-piercing bullets, and incendiary .50 caliber bullets.” To see the full list of weapons covered by the proposed ban, click here.
The state Legislature is controlled by Republicans and the governor is also a Republican. Oliver has yet to pick up a Republican co-sponsor for her bill. The leader of the state’s most prominent gun rights organization, Georgia Carry Executive Director Jerry Henry, predicts that Oliver’s bill will not move forward.
“It’s a bill that the gun grabbers in just about every state wants to pass, but I don’t think they’re going to have much luck here,” Henry said. “For one thing, there’s really no description of an assault weapon. Your hands are an assault weapon. Anything you can pick up and harm somebody with is an assault weapon.”