Lawmakers urge governor to call special session to address gun control

ATLANTA — In just the last three weeks, the United States has had to deal with three mass shootings.

Now, Democratic lawmakers in Georgia want the governor to call a special session to talk about new gun laws for our state.

The governor’s office had no direct comment on the call for a special session. The probability of one happening to consider gun laws is next to none.

Democrats insist they just want to start the conversation.

Minutes after another Democratic lawmaker proposed new gun laws, state Rep. Billy Mitchell took the microphone.

“I think we’re going to make news here. I can speak on behalf of the Democratic caucus in the House. We hereby call for a special session to deal with this issue,” Mitchell said.

The House and Senate Democrats asked Republican lawmakers to at least consider their proposals, which include an assault weapons ban, mandatory background checks on all gun sales, age restrictions for some gun purchases and mandatory firearm training.

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But Mitchell also said they’re willing to listen to their Republican colleagues.

“So they obviously feel a lot differently about guns than some of us do. However, we can … come up with some compromises, some commonsense solutions to this issue,” Mitchell said.

The governor’s office had no direct comment on a special session and said many of those proposals would have to be handled on a federal, not state level.

Just two months ago, nearly a dozen Republican lawmakers joined Gov. Brian Kemp as he signed a law allowing Georgians to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Kemp said afterward that the law protects law-abiding gun owners.

“What the law says, we’re trying to give our citizens, the law-abiding citizens, the ability to protect and defend themselves and their families and their property and their place of business, and that is all this is doing today,” Kemp said.

The governor’s office added that Kemp has already poured millions of dollars into hardening schools around the state, as well as increased funding for student mental health.

Kemp will be meeting with school resource officers to talk about safety issues next week.

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