Ga. senator and public health researcher discuss gun safety and combating gun violence

sally harrell mark rosenberg
Gun violence and gun safety are huge topics of discussion during the Georgia General Assembly’s legislative session. “Closer Look” program host Rose Scott spoke with state Sen. Sally Harrell, who recently introduced Senate Bill 344, and Mark L. Rosenberg, a physician and public health researcher, about the importance of using research to combat gun violence. (Photos courtesy of Sen. Sally Harrell and Mark L. Rosenberg)

Gov. Brian Kemp recently announced his support of the Second Amendment and support for legislation that would allow Georgians to carry handguns in public without a permit.

This all comes as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that Georgia has the 14th highest rate of firearm fatalities in the country.

On Monday’s special edition of “Closer Look,” program host Rose Scott talked with state Sen. Sally Harrell and Mark L. Rosenberg, a physician, a public health researcher and the former president and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health, about gun violence and gun safety.

First, Harrell discussed Senate Bill 344. The bill aims to require Georgians looking to purchase a handgun to enroll in a firearm training safety course, among a series of other requirements.

Harrell further discussed the ongoing challenge to get bipartisan support from Republican lawmakers for gun safety legislation.

“I did have bipartisan support, but when the governor announced his permitless carry, that support went away,” said Harrell.

Rosenberg discussed several topics, including the unfair position lawmakers are put in when they have to make decisions about gun legislation. He also discussed what makes gun violence a public health issue and expressed the importance of using research to combat gun violence.

“We do know that more guns in the state results in more deaths, we do know that,” said Rosenberg. “We don’t know that more people carrying weapons will save lives and prevent assaults. We don’t know that. The thing is, we can find out.”