Rep. Waites Comments on Pre-filed Legislation Requiring Firearm Safety Training

ATLANTA – State Representative Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) today commented on House Bill 709, legislation she recently pre-filed for the upcoming 2016 legislative session. This bill would require new Georgia applicants to complete firearms safety training in order to apply for a weapons carry license.

“Since 2005, gun-related accidents have been on a steady rise in Georgia and across the nation,” said Rep. Waites. “By requiring additional safety training at the onset of the carry permit process, we will ensure that those who have access to firearms have had the opportunity to learn about the firearm itself, as well as the precautions surrounding it. This is for personal safety and for the safety of others.”

House Bill 709 would require that applicants complete a certified firearm safety training course prior to applying for a weapons carry license. Applicants may satisfy this requirement by proving that he or she is a peace officer; serving on active duty with the United States armed forces; serving in an active reserve component of the United States armed forces or in the Georgia National Guard; certified by the National Rifle Association as a firearms safety instructor; or received basic firearms training provided by a law enforcement officer, a nationally recognized organization that promotes firearm safety, or a licensed firearms dealer.  Firearms safety training would include instruction on the features of a handgun in addition to a brief explanation of loading, firing, cleaning and unloading the weapon.

Under HB 709, existing carry permit holders and those wishing to renew their carry permit would be grandfathered-in and would not be subject to the new law.

“During the 2015 legislative session, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 60, which some referred to as the “guns everywhere” law, allowing the legal carry of guns into previously banned areas,” said Rep. Waites. “HB 60 was my motivation behind this new legislation, and I hope you will join me to help educate individuals on firearm safety.”

HB 709 will be formally introduced during the 2016 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.

For more information about HB 709, please click here.

Representative Keisha Waites represents the citizens of District 60, which includes portions of Clayton and Fulton counties. She was elected into the House of Representatives in 2012, and currently serves on the Interstate Cooperation, Juvenile Justice, Public Safety & Homeland Security, Special Rules, and Transportation committees.

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Posted December 23rd, 2015 in Keisha Waites. Tagged: .