By T.A. DeFeo, Washington Examiner
(The Center Square) — Georgia House Democrats have rolled out a series of bills they say will help stem gun violence in the state.
On Wednesday, state Reps. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, and Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, announced four pieces of legislation ranging from a proposal to institute a three-day waiting period to buy firearms to holding firearm owners responsible if a minor uses their firearm to threaten violence.
"Gun violence is a public health crisis, and the key lever to addressing any public health issue is prevention," Au said in an announcement. These "bills are a multimodal approach to address several key deficiencies in our gun safety systems and will ultimately avert harm and save lives."
Au has not responded to requests for comment.
House Bill 44 would subject private gun sales and transfers to background checks, which would have to confirm that purchasers or recipients are not barred from having a firearm under state or federal law. The legislation proposes to make first-time violations a misdemeanor and subsequent offenses a felony punishable by one to three years in prison.
HB 45 would require a three-day "cooling-off" period for firearm purchases and require sellers to make records available for inspection to authorities for criminal investigations. The bill would make violations a felony, punishable by one to five years in prison.
HB 135 proposes to hold firearm owners responsible if someone else uses their firearm during the commission of a crime that results in an injury or death or if a minor uses their firearm to make a threat. The legislation proposes to make violations a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of at least $500.
HB 161, the Pediatric Health Safe Storage Act, would require owners to securely store their firearms that minors might be able to access. The bill would make violations a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
Spokespeople for Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Governor Burt Jones, both Republicans, declined to comment on the proposed legislation. Last year, Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, a "constitutional carry" measure allowing Georgians to carry guns without needing a state-issued license.