This Monday in Atlanta, a sixth-month old infant was shot and killed in the crossfire of a gun fight — the third child under the age of six to be shot in the city this year, according to CNN. During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said two people were shooting at each other near Anderson Park when the child was hit by a stray bullet. He was taken to Grady Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
This tragedy is not unique. Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in Georgia. In an average year, 146 children and teens die by guns in the state, and 63% of these deaths are homicides.
Georgia has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Everytown’s new interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — show that Georgia scores only 11.5 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining a gun violence rate well above the national average. In an average year, 1,693 people die by guns in Georgia.
States with weak gun laws have higher rates of firearm deaths, but despite this, Georgia lawmakers continue to weaken the state’s gun safety laws. This session, the state legislature is considering dangerous permitless carry legislation which would allow a person to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check, dismantling Georgia’s culture of responsible gun ownership and putting law enforcement officers at increased risk.
The people of Georgia need laws that will make them safer, not less safe. This year, lawmakers should protect Georgians by rejecting dangerous legislation that would further weaken the state’s gun laws and, instead, support gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, such as repealing the state’s Shoot First law and funding violence intervention programs.
More information on gun violence in Georgia is available here.
If you’d like to speak with a volunteer from Georgia Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out.