Georgia Democrat Drafts Bill To Ban Assault Weapons

Michell Eloy / WABE

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A Georgia Democratic lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban assault rifles and ideally ask people to surrender them.

Democratic Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver’s bill, HB 731, would end the sale and possession of assault rifles and certain kinds of ammunition in the state. The proposal includes banning automatic rifles, though those are already heavily regulated by the federal government. The bill would also ban the vast majority of semi-automatic rifles.

Oliver admitted that, while her “strong bill” calls for the confiscation of such guns from current owners, the provision could be problematic. She said she’s not wedded to that position and is “open in an honest discussion … if there is a better way.”

“Should we grandfather owners that own these weapons today? Should we do a licensing of people who wish to keep their gun and ban them in the future? This is an intelligent conversation that people can have,” Oliver said.

The bill is likely to face stiff opposition from a legislature that just two years ago significantly expanded gun rights with the so-called “Guns Everywhere Bill.”

Patrick Parsons, who’s with Georgia Gun Owners, says there should be “no compromise” on the Second Amendment.

“If you look at her bill there are literally hundreds of guns that they want us to come and turn in,” Parsons said. “No compromise. Not going to happen.”

Parsons says any legislator who supports Oliver’s bill, particularly Republicans, will be exposed to voters and held accountable at the polls on Election Day.