Ga. Assault Weapon Ban An ‘Impossible Task’ Says Ga. GOP Lawmaker

Rifles, foreground, and handguns are displayed for gun show participants in Marietta, Ga. on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. As gun control talks heat up in Washington, more than 1,000 people lined up Saturday morning outside the exhibit hall at Jim Miller Park in Cobb County for the Eastman Gun Show. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

 Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver wants a bipartisan discussion on gun control in Georgia.

In the wake of the Orlando shootings, one Georgia lawmaker is renewing her call for a ban on assault weapons.

During this year’s legislative session, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston dismissed Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver’s bill almost instantly.

Speaking on WABE’s “Closer Look” Monday, Oliver said she modeled the bill on legislation that’s been upheld in Connecticut.

“I think passage of more gun control legislation in Georgia will be a difficult matter, but it’s not right that we cannot have a discussion,” said Oliver, D-Decatur.

She said her measure is just a starting point for a conversation to begin. It’s one option among many.

“One way is to focus on magazines and ammunition. Another way is to focus on mandating insurance for these kinds of weapons. The point is that Georgia should be part of the discussion,” said Oliver.

She called not even being able to have a serious conversation about gun control measures “a failure of our political system.”

Sandy Springs Republican Rep. Wendell Willard, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, doesn’t disagree.

“Putting it mildly, that’s probably an impossible task. And I say that as someone who’s voted against certain measures and for certain measures considering gun control and gun rights,” said Willard.

He said he’s personally supported requiring training for concealed carry permits as well as property owners’ rights to prohibit firearms.

Despite current events, Willard said any gun control measure is unlikely to make more progress now than it has in the past.

“I don’t know what else could get through. I really don’t. You have these terrible disasters that happen, and it’s not anything that even moves the needle,” said Willard.  

He said regardless of who introduces the bill or what it contains, for many lawmakers and lobbyists, their opposition to any gun control measures is fixed.