Six Democrats in Georgia's state House of Representatives unveiled a bill on Jan. 11 that would "require seizure" of "certain weaponry and ammunition" that is deemed as contraband, effectively banning "assault weapons" and "large-capacity magazines."
HB 731, which is sponsored by Mary Margaret Oliver, Carolyn Hugley, Pat Gardiner, Stacey Abrams, Dar’shun Kendrick and Dee Dawkins-Haigler, would amend current law to "prohibit the possession, sale, transport, distribution or use of certain assault weapons, large capacity magazines, armor-piercing bullets, and incendiary .50 caliber bullets."
The text of the bill goes on to say that certain weapons would be required to be seized by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with increased penalties for use and possession of machine guns, among other related regulations.
Information posted to sponsor Oliver's website clearly notes that HB 731, which was introduced on the first day of the 2016 session, would "ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."
In the same statement, the Democratic representative made her stance on the sale of certain guns more than clear.
"Georgia needs debate about these weapons which are only used for rapidly killing people," the statement read. "Assault weapons are not necessary for deer hunting."
The text of HB 731 proclaims that the sale, possession or distribution of "any assault weapon" will come at a profound cost.
"No person shall possess, distribute, transport, transfer, or sell any assault weapon," it reads. "Any person who distributes, transports, or imports an assault weapon into this state shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than ten years."
The proposed bill goes on for almost two pages, explaining and specifically naming the types of guns that are included in the sponsors' definition of an "assault weapon." Here's just a portion of that section of the bill:
Screen shot from HB 731
The proposed measure also defines a "large-capacity magazine" to be "any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition."
The text gets very specific when it comes to how large-capacity magazines will be handled under the law, if, indeed, HB 731 is passed, detailing the imposed punishments for those who still have them in their possession after Jan. 1, 2017.
"Any person who possesses a large capacity magazine on or after January 1, 2017, that was obtained by such person prior to July 1, 2016, shall be fined not more than $100.00 for a first offense and shall be guilty of a felony for any subsequent offense," it reads. "Any person who possesses a large capacity magazine on or after January 1, 2017, that was obtained by such person on or after July 1, 2016, shall be guilty of a felony."
Those who do possess either an assault weapon or a large-capacity magazine, as defined in the text of the bill, on July 1, 2016, will need to either modify the weapon to magazine to "render it permanently inoperable or such that it is no longer an assault weapon or large capacity magazine" or give the firearm over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to be destroyed; gun owners will have an Oct. 31, 2016 deadline to do so.
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