Today, Lawmakers return to Atlanta for the official day of the 2023 session of the Georgia state legislature. This year, lawmakers will have, once again, the opportunity to pass common sense gun safety legislation. The past year showed how important firearm violence prevention is in the state. At the end of 2022, four teenagers were shot and killed in Atlanta, and another shooting in Fulton that left another dead – adding to the 1,693 people that die by guns annually in Georgia.
In recent years, the State Legislature has been ceding to the gun lobby’s ”guns everywhere” agenda, by allowing guns to be carried nearly anywhere in the state—from the busy Atlanta airport to college campuses. Last session, Georgia repealed the requirement that a person get a permit and pass a background check to carry a concealed handgun in public. These dangerous gun laws have made Georgians less safe. If the legislature continues to introduce harmful legislation, gun violence will only continue to rise.
This year lawmakers should learn from past mistakes and put forward policies that make Georgia families safer. The State Legislature shouldn’t wait for the next tragedy to happen before taking action. To become a safer state, policymakers should enact legislation to repeal its dangerous Shoot First, and invest in Community Violence Intervention programs, which are shown to reduce firearm injuries and deaths in neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.
More Information on Gun Violence in Georgia:
- With a rate of 16.0 deaths per 100,000 people, Georgia has the 17th-highest rate of gun deaths, and the 10th-highest rate of gun violence in the US.
- Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Georgia.
- In the state the rate of gun deaths has increased 41% from 2011 to 2020 in Georgia, compared to a 33% increase nationwide.
- The rate of gun suicide increased 13% and gun homicide increased 92% from 2011 to 2020, compared to a 12% increase and 70% increase nationwide, respectively.
Everytown just released the updated Gun Law Rankings for 2023 which ranks each state by the strength of their gun laws. This year, Georgia dropped from the “weak” category all the way down to rank 47 in the “national failure” category after repealing its permit requirement for both concealed and open carry, last year. More information about gun violence in Georgia is available here.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Montana Moms Demand Action about advocacy and gun violence prevention in the state, please reach out to [email protected].