Georgia’s no-wait gun laws allowed Robert Aaron Long to quickly buy gunMarch 18, 2021
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Accused Atlanta-area spas shooter Robert Aaron Long reportedly had no trouble buying a gun at a firearms dealership in Cherokee County on the day of the attacks – thanks to Georgia’s no-wait gun laws.
The Peach State does not require a waiting period for firearm sales, which means a person may purchase one from a federally licensed gun seller immediately if they pass a background check.
Long, who was charged with four counts of murder and one count of assault for the first shooting in Cherokee County, bought a gun from Big Woods Goods in Cherokee County, Matt Kilgo, an attorney for the store, confirmed to Newsweek.
He said the store is cooperating with investigators and that there is “absolutely zero indication” there was anything improper with firearm sale.
“Most background checks, if there’s no flag on it, take about 100 seconds,” Robyn Thomas, executive director of Giffords Law Center, a national gun violence prevention advocacy group, told the mag.
“So you’re talking about two minutes at most and then you have your gun, you can walk out the door with no training, no other kind of information,” she added.
Giffords has given Georgia – which has the 14th-highest gun death rate in the US — an “F” on its annual scorecard of gun laws in all 50 states, according to the outlet.
Republican lawmakers are now pushing for new legislation that would allow “lawful weapons carriers” to pack heat without a license.
On Wednesday, Matthew Wilson, a Democratic Georgia state representative, said in a tweet that “in Georgia, it’s easier to buy a gun than it is to vote.”
Mike Wilensky, another state representative, called for a law that requires a waiting period for gun buyers,
“I have never heard of someone in a rush to get a gun for a safe, good reason,” he said in a tweet.
Ten states and the District of Columbia require waiting periods for gun purchases – with periods ranging from 72 hours in Illinois to about 10 days in California and DC, according to Newsweek.
“I would really encourage Georgia and other states across the country to look at what happened here and think about what they could do in order to reduce or prevent such incidents from happening again,” Igor Volsky, executive director of the advocacy group Guns Down America, told the outlet.
He cited a 2017 study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which found that waiting period laws that delay gun purchases by a few days reduce firearm homicides by about 17 percent.
“This is particularly pertinent obviously against the backdrop of the spike we’ve seen in hate crimes in this country. We’re at a 10-year high,” Volsky told Newsweek. “In particular, the recent uptick in hate crimes against Asian-Americans.”
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