Opponents of controversial gun legislation spoke out at the State Capitol on Thursday. The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is opposed to House Bill 512 that would allow guns to be carried into churches, bars, schools, and on college campuses.
Gun rights legislation will be the subject of debate and negotiation as lawmakers move to conclude the legislative session. The primary focus is the extensive bill that earlier passed in the state House of Representatives.
"I have worked in public education for almost 30 years. I don't want to work in an environment where people are carrying guns," said opponent Brenda Kendrick. Kendrick's niece was killed in the Virginia Tech in 2007.
House Bill 512 would allow licensed gun owners to carry firearms in bars, church, many parts of college campuses, and inside secured government buildings. Opponents speaking out against the bill included members of the Georgia Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
"After 30,000 people are killed every year in our country because of gun violence, including eight children a day. That ought to be enough," said Kendrick.
Supporters of the legislation say their goal is to allow people who follow the rules to better protect themselves.
"There's a lot of people I don't think need to have a weapon. But I'm not one who believes in restricting anybody's right except for folks who are a danger to society. And that means either because of a criminal background or because of the mental health situation," said state Representative Alan Powell, (R- Hartwell).
The bill is currently before the Georgia Senate. The state House approved a scheduled setting the General Assembly's final day for March 28.