ATLANTA, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Twelve Georgia mayors came out in strong opposition to HB 875 today, one of the most aggressive rollbacks of public safety laws of its kind. HB 875 [link added] would expand the scope of Georgia’s existing dangerous Stand Your Ground law to protect criminals, virtually eliminate the crime of carrying guns on college and university campuses, and force cities and towns to allow guns into their government buildings . . .
The mayors shared their concerns in a letter sent to Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and legislative leadership. The letter is available here. Recently passed by the Georgia House, the legislation will likely receive a Senate committee hearing this week—even though Georgians overwhelmingly oppose some of its measures.
“This bill is a matter of urgent public concern and would be taking our state in the wrong direction,” the mayors wrote in a letter to the governor and General Assembly leadership. “We urge you to reject this dangerous bill.”
Some provisions in HB 875 are outlined below:
- Stand Your Ground. Since Georgia Stand Your Ground became law in Georgia in 2006, the number of justifiable homicides in the state increased by 83%. HB 875 would dangerously expand this law even further to protect felons who kill using illegal guns.
- Guns on Campus. HB 875 would essentially eliminate the crime of carrying guns on college campuses. Even though the Georgia Board of Regents and 78% of Georgia registered voters oppose allowing concealed carry on college campuses, this bill would take the teeth out of the crime, making the penalty for illegally carrying a loaded gun on college and university campuses less severe than a speeding ticket.
- Guns in Government Buildings. This bill would overrule local judgment by forcing cities and counties to allow guns in their government buildings. By conditioning local authority to keep guns out of municipal and county buildings on the provision of costly security personnel, the bill would prohibit cities and counties from taking steps they deem necessary to keep their employees and citizens safe.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors of major American cities to more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters – making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition has united mayors, gun violence survivors and everyday Americans around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. The group recently joined forces with Moms Demand Action, the leading grassroots movement of American mothers working to prevent gun violence. Learn more at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org or on Twitter @DemandAction