(The Center Square) — Georgia Democrats want Gov. Brian Kemp to convene a special legislative session so lawmakers can revisit the state’s gun laws in the wake of several high-profile shootings nationwide.
“We want to urge the Georgia General Assembly to put all politics aside to pass some real legislation to increase gun safety, background checks before purchasing weapons and to ban assault weapons,” state Rep. Sandra Scott, D-Rex, said in an announcement.
The call comes as lawmakers in Washington are also looking to find bipartisan support for gun reform proposals. Georgia Democrats indicated they are open to working with Republicans on any measure.
“We are willing to start somewhere,” WAGA-TV quoted state Rep. Debra Bazemore, D-South Fulton, as saying during a Friday news conference at the Georgia State Capitol. “Somewhere is better than nowhere. So, let’s see if we can get that discussion going.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, would have to call a special session. While a special session seems unlikely, a spokesperson for Kemp did not respond to a request for comment on whether the governor would consider calling one.
In April, Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, a “constitutional carry” measure allowing Georgians to carry guns without needing a state-issued license.
Last month, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the governor’s office distributed a school safety update. As part of its efforts, the state is creating regional Behavioral Threat Assessment Teams statewide to respond to threats or “concerning behavior” that could lead to violence.
Additionally, the governor’s update noted that the state has held more than 120 Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events instructional sessions for more than 400 personnel during Kemp’s tenure. Additionally, it revealed that the Georgia Public Safety Training Center plans to train more than 300 school resource officers in the field this year and could update officer protocols for future SRO training.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor