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Georgia Moms Demand Action, Everytown and Gun Violence Survivors Urge Georgia Lawmakers to Prioritize Public Safety

February 21, 2018

More than 1,500 Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Converge on Statehouse to Demand Policymakers Oppose Dangerous Gun Lobby Backed Bills and Support Legislation to Disarm Domestic Abusers

ATLANTA – More than 1,500 volunteers with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, members of the Everytown Survivor Network -both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety -and other concerned Georgians today rallied on the steps of the Statehouse to urge lawmakers to oppose a number of bills, including:

  • Dangerous permitless carry bills (HB 156, HB 286 and SB 177) that would dismantle the public safety standards Georgia has put in place for who can carry a loaded handgun in public.
  • Any legislation that would expand the dangerous guns on campus law, and force public colleges and universities to allow guns into more places on campus even into the most sensitive places, like disciplinary hearings and daycares.
  • Volunteers also urged lawmakers to support legislation that would empower local law enforcement in Georgia to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Research shows the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed. Also, the majority of mass shootings (54 percent) are related to domestic or family violence.

“Nearly two years ago, my sweet son JaJuan was shot and killed by a 13-year-old playing with an unsecured gun,” said Julvonnia McDowell, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Mom Demand Action and member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “As a survivor, I know my life will never be the same again, and this is why I am demanding our lawmakers work with us to end this uniquely American crisis. Our children have a right to live. .”

“It is no secret that most mass shootings are related to domestic and family violence,” said Anne Allen Westbrook, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This is why we are deeply concerned that House Republican Leadership is currently blocking legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers from seeing the light of day. Gun violence prevention advocates in Georgia will continue to publicly support this important measure until lawmakers act to protect women and children in our state.”

“Last year, Georgia legislators passed a law that forced guns on onto our college campuses, leaving many students like myself vulnerable to gun violence where we should be safe,” said Mallory Harris, student at the University of Georgia and local gun violence prevention advocate. “This year, some lawmakers are seeking to expand this dangerous policy by forcing guns into more sensitive places on campus like daycares and disciplinary hearings. This is entirely unacceptable. It’s time for our lawmakers to serve their constituents instead of the interests of the gun lobby. Too many lives are on the line.”

“The tragic events in Parkland are the tipping point for my generation, said Jacob Busch, senior at Chamblee Charter High School and local gun violence prevention advocate. “The time for sending thoughts and prayers without actually making change has run its course. Our country’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed countries. We must fight. We must act. And we must win.”

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