State Representative Sandra Scott (D-Rex) recently introduced House Bills 962 and 971, legislation that would require gun owners to store their firearms in a secure manner and report if a firearm has been lost or stolen.
“My heart cries out with sadness, grief and anger every time I learn that a child has been shot by another child because someone left a loaded firearm on the table, in the car or on their dresser,” said Rep. Scott. “Since the New Year, three children have died from gun violence and four others have been injured in Georgia. This is three kids too many. We do not need legislation that would allow people to carry a gun without a permit. We need laws that increase gun safety, such as House Bills 962 and 971. When household guns are not stored safely or securely, the risk of death or injury only increases. It is time for common sense gun safety laws in Georgia.”
House Bill 962 would require individuals to report the loss or theft of a gun to law enforcement within five days upon discovery of the missing firearm. Law enforcement would be required to request a detailed description of the firearm, including the manufacturer, model, serial number, caliber and any other identification number or distinguishing mark of the firearm being reported. This information would be stored by the Georgia Crime Information System. If the firearm is recovered, individuals would be required to report it to law enforcement immediately. Failure to report a lost or stolen firearm would be classified as a misdemeanor and could result in a $25 fine under this legislation, and a second violation would result in a fine up to $500. Currently, Georgia does not require firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm.
House Bill 971 would require gun owners to store their firearms unloaded and separate from ammunition in a locked enclosure. This bill would prohibit individuals from storing, transporting or abandoning an unsecured firearm in a place where children could easily obtain access to it. Under HB 971, a locked gun safe, locking device or gun specific safety feature would be required in order for a firearm to be regarded as secure. Violating this proposed law would result in a fine up to $500.
“We know that guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in Georgia,” said Rep. Scott. “In an average year, 146 children and teens die by guns, and 63 percent of these deaths are homicide. Guns are stolen every two minutes. We must do all we can to keep firearms out of the hands of children and teens. Therefore, it is critical that people report lost or stolen firearms.”
HB 962 First Reader Summary: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Part 1 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to dangerous instrumentalities and practices, so as to provide for the reporting of a lost or stolen firearm; to provide for penalties for failure to report; to provide for an exception; to provide for the entry of information regarding such firearm into the criminal justice information system; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.hb962
HB 971 First Reader Summary: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 15-5-24, Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16, and Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 35 of the O.C.G.A., relating to the duties of the Administrative Office of the Courts, dangerous instrumentalities and practices, and the Department of Public Safety, respectively, so as to provide for the offenses of failure to store a firearm in a secure manner; to provide for definitions; to provide for penalties; to provide for exceptions; to require that a gun lock be furnished to the buyer in all retail firearm sales made by firearm dealers; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.hb971
For more information on HB 962, please click here.
For more information on HB 971, please click here.
Representative Sandra Scott represents the citizens of District 76, which includes portions of Clayton and Henry counties. She was first elected to the House Representatives in 2010 and currently serves on the Defense & Veterans Affairs, Human Relations & Aging, Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment, Science and Technology and Special Rules committees.