Pro Gun Control Group Has Long Term Goals for Georgia

During the debate over House Bill 859, the measure that would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns to most places on University System of Georgia campuses, one group was a constant presence at hearings. Representatives of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America not only were present at the hearings, they testified against the bill. The group labels itself as a “non-partisan movement of Americans demanding reasonable solutions to address our nation’s culture of gun violence” on its Facebook page. Despite the claim to be non-partisan in its efforts, the Facebook cover photo reads “Moms Demand Hillary Clinton for President.”

The group is laying the groundwork bor a bigger presence in Georgia politics, according to a story in the Athens Banner Herald. Andrea Teichner, a leader in the Georgia effort, recently met with Athens-Clarke County Democrats, urging them to help start a local Moms Demand Action chapter in the Classic City. There, the focus would be on campus carry, given the presence of UGA. Efforts to establish groups elsewhere in the state will address local gun related issues, such as gang violence in Savannah.

Statewide, the group will push to elect candidates who support gun control measures. Form the Banner Herald story:

In Georgia, according to Teichner, an upcoming focus for Moms Demand Action will be urging local activists to find candidates to run against lawmakers who support issues such as the “campus carry” legislation. Teichner said she does not expect any “campus carry” legislation to pass in Georgia during Gov. Nathan Deal’s term, which ends in early 2019, given his veto of this year’s legislation.

But, Teichner said, looking toward the 2018 election that will put a new governor in office (Deal is term-limited) and will see all state legislators standing for re-election, “I think we’ve got about two years” before gun legislation becomes an issue again.

In the interim, she said, Clarke Democrats and others interested in gun control on the state level should work to “find people who are willing to run against people who are unopposed [and who support legislation like campus carry].”

Governor Deal’s veto of House Bill 859 disappointed second amendment supporters, many of whom didn’t like the governor’s veto of religious liberty legislation either. Proponents of religious liberty legislation have already indicated they intend to continue efforts to pass a bill the governor will sign during the 2017 session, Less has been said about reviving the campus carry legislation. If it does come back up, Moms Demand Action, along with pro-gun groups such as Georgia Carry, will be part of the discussion.

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Not sure how opposition to campus carry and support for Hilly successfully addresses “our nation’s culture of gun violence.” Targeting gang violence in Savannah may be effective but Teichner offers no specifics. Her group could lobby for increased penalties for Felon in Possession 16-11-131 and Possession during Commission 16-11-106 and a few other crimes however the result may be an increase in prison population.

Violent crime in Ga. has increased in recent years but it’s not known if this trend will continue long term. Fortunately we don’t quite have Chicago’s violent crime situation.