Democrats in Georgia have felt somewhat emboldened after Stacey Abrams and her near-miss at the governor’s mansion. They seem to have it in their head that her close race was enough to suggest that Georgia is somehow turning blue.
I suppose that might be why at least one state representative felt emboldened enough to try and push an assault weapon ban in one of the most pro-gun states in the country.
The bill has an interesting definition of an assault weapon, though.
As used in this part, the term:
25 (1) ‘Automatic or semi-automatic gun’ means any weapon which shoots or is designed
26 to shoot:
27 (A) Automatically, more than six shots, without manual reloading, by a single function
28 of the trigger; or
29 (B) Without any action needed to fire consecutive shots, other than having ammunition
30 loaded in such weapon’s feeding device.
That first definition is more appropriately termed a “machine gun” under Georgia law, though this seeks to simply change the term used. The bill, SB 281, strikes out the machine gun definition as well.
It also includes all the usual bells and whistles about magazine capacity and so on.
Frankly, it’s nothing particularly new. In fact, it’s what we’ve come to expect from anti-gun lawmakers throughout the country. What’s interesting, however, is the response we’re seeing.
You see, the bill was pre-filed on December 4th. After a month, it’s had time to gather a few co-sponsors. It hasn’t. In fact, it has absolutely no co-sponsors.
While I don’t expect that trend to continue indefinitely–we have too many anti-gun lawmakers from Atlanta, for example–it does suggest that the bill isn’t one anyone puts much stock in succeeding. Not at this point, anyway.
Honestly, though, why would it? The legislature is still overwhelmingly Republican. Further, much of that power derives from their historically pro-gun stance. While state activists aren’t having a lot of luck pushing for expansion of gun rights in recent years, that doesn’t mean state GOP officials are going to anger them by restricting gun rights either.
In other words, this bill makes the proverbial “tilting at windmills” look like a good and valuable use of one’s time by comparison.
The truth is, Georgia isn’t likely to get an assault weapon ban. Yet why do lawmakers continue trying to push for bills like this?
That’s easy. They’re virtue signaling. They’re making sure all their fellow Democrats know they hold the right opinions. This is especially important for those who harbor ambitions of higher office. They need the party to believe in them, so they introduce bills that aren’t going to go anywhere.
Oh, it’s possible that their reasons aren’t anything of the sort and I’m just cynical. It’s also possible that lawmakers like this are just complete and total idiots who really think the state is just clamoring for gun control.
Of course, I’ll also note that the two possibilities aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s quite possible it’s virtue signaling and a sincere effort to curtail the rights of law-abiding Georgians because they think we actually want this nonsense.
Hat tip: The Truth About Guns