Stacey Abrams is the only Democratic candidate for governor with a proven track record of voting against legislation that would put guns in the wrong hands, including opposing SB 350 in 2012, and opposing 2017’s NRA omnibus bill, HB 292. Read more about her plan to reduce gun violence in Georgia:
Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands
● Support Survivors of Domestic Violence: Call for the immediate creation of a panel of victims, advocates, and lawmakers to determine the best way to ensure that perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking aren’t able to access weapons. Such actions may include prohibiting possession and requiring the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers. State laws addressing this “relinquishment gap” have lowered fire-arm related intimate partner homicides by 14%.[i] Additionally, we will support service providers to ensure victims in every part of the state have assistance and shelter when facing family violence. Georgia’s domestic violence service providers received more than 53,000 crisis calls in 2016. Shelters turned away more than 1,500 victims due to lack of bed space. The need is great, and we will work to close service gaps for victims.
● Require Universal Background Checks: Currently, Georgia does not require background checks for private gun sales between individuals (including at gun shows), creating a loophole through which individuals who would not pass background checks can still legally purchase firearms. The data confirms that policies such as universal background checks are effective in lowering suicide and murder rates.[ii]
● Allow Families to Petition for Extreme Risk Protection Orders: When a loved one has mental health challenges that put them at risk of endangering themselves or others, families and law enforcement should have a path to petition a court to temporarily restrict firearms access.
Fix Our Broken Gun Laws
● Immediate Repeal of 2012’s SB 350: The AJC notes that this legislation “may be the most egregious gun law in Georgia” and “makes guns something close to sacred.” It requires guns used to commit crime be put back onto the street. It is opposed by members of law enforcement and encroaches on home rule.
● Immediate Repeal of 2017’s HB 280: “Campus Carry” legislation is opposed by Georgia university administrators, educators, and a majority of Georgians.
Ensure People Receive the Help They Need
● Expand Medicaid: Medicaid expansion is critical to expanding mental health care access for Georgians. A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year found that people who accessed Medicaid were 30% more likely to receive mental health or substance abuse treatment. They estimated that 159,000 uninsured Georgians who are in the coverage gap suffer from mental illness or substance abuse challenges. Additional studies are finding that Medicaid expansion reduces crime rates due to this link between Medicaid and access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
● Support Violence Prevention Efforts, Including Hospital Interventions, Community-Based Strategies, and Research. Hospital intervention programs provide mental health and substance abuse services, job placement, and conflict de-escalation training to interrupt violence. Initial evaluations of The Youth Intervention and Violence Intervention Program in Savannah hospitals show promising results. We will support hospital intervention programs that seek to disrupt cycles of violence. Additionally, we will support local governments and community-based organizations working directly with communities most affected by gun violence. Finally, we will continue the partnerships with academic researchers, such as Emory’s Violence Prevention Task Force, who seek to advance violence prevention through data driven solutions.