In the wake of Thursday school shooting of a 14 year old middle school student, state leaders have placed attentions on issues surrounding school safety. As President Barack Obama’s push proposed new gun laws, he is receiving mixed reaction across the country, Metro Atlanta and Georgians are looking at expanding Georgia gun owners’ rights and pushing back of some of the Presidents proposals.
Reacting to the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, new tough Federal legistation has not traditionally receive much support among strong conservative Georgians until now. According to an exclusive FOX 5/Insider Advantage Poll, opinions about the gun laws among strongly conservative Georgians are starting to change. According to the FOX 5/Insider Advantage poll, and an informal poll among women, taken by FOX 5’s Justin Gray, an overwhelming 61 percent of Georgians are now supporting universal background checks.
Insider Advantage CEO Matt Towery told Fox 5 Atlanta, "We are seeing some lessening with regards to these hard positions with regard to gun control in Georgia."
But while there may be some common ground on universal background checks, people are still skeptical about laws that would ban certain weapons. Universal background checks appear to have the support of most of the Republicans, Democrats and even Independents.
Overall, when we asked about President Obama's gun control proposals, 52 percent of Georgians said they opposed them.
Towery said what people are saying is, “They don't favor all of what President Obama is proposing, but they do favor some of the changes that could make things to what they consider more reasonable."
However, among state proposals, there is one that is not receiving favorable reviews and that is arming school administrators with guns. According to the poll, more Georgians said they opposed State Rep. Paul Battles (R-Cartersville) proposal, introduced this week, to allow school administrators to have concealed guns in schools. But Battle says he has the support in the Georgia House for his bill which includes allowing school administrators to have concealed guns at school functions and on school buses.
Democrats are opposed to the measure, but Battle tells Fox 5 Atlanta ,"This is not a gun bill. This is not a Second Amendment rights bill. What this is a school safety bill".
He also emphasizes that the decision to arm administrators would be left to local school boards and would involve training and certification.
Georgia State Sen. Vincent Fort (D- Atlanta) says he’ll introduce bills in 2013 to ban assault rifles and limit the number of bullets a gun can hold.
The Georgia Senate has already approved a bill that would “lower the concealed carry license age requirement from 21 to 18, as well as a bill that would force law enforcement agencies to return all seized firearms not being held as evidence to their owners no later than 30 days after the court renders its final judgment.”
So as Georgia is clearly a “gun owner’s state”, striking balance on the weapons ban laws will prove to not be as easy.