Georgia lawmakers eye gun control in wake of Conn. massacre - CBS46 News

Georgia lawmakers eye gun control in wake of Conn. massacre

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Don Joyner says his heart goes out to the victims in last week's horrific school shooting in Connecticut, but he worries some lawmakers will use the tragedy to tighten restrictions on gun laws in Georgia.

"I'm afraid they'll be outlawed again and I won't be able to have another if I do want one," Joyner said.

That's why Joyner bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the same kind the gunman used in the massacre.

"People can have guns and don't do any harm and have the right to have 'em," Joyner said.

Dozens of customers crowded Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, not just to finish their holiday shopping rush but because they feared lawmakers in the nation's capital and here in Georgia will try to ban high-powered semi-automatic weapons many call assault rifles.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, a Democrat, said he will introduce bills to ban assault weapons and limit the number of bullets a gun can hold.

"We don't want to ban all guns, but we do want to protect families," Fort said.

When asked if his bill could help prevent such tragedies from happening again, Fort responded, "We need a comprehensive approach. It's not just talking about guns. It also has to be mental health."

Jay Wallace, who owns Adventure Outdoors, said he hopes Georgia lawmakers keep state policies as they are.

"Of course we worry about stricter gun laws. We don't want emotion to rule the day. We want logic to rule the day," Wallace said.

Republican lawmakers during the last session introduced a number of bills to expand gun rights.

One measure would have reduced the age Georgians could legally buy guns down to 18, another would have allowed students to carry guns on college campuses and yet another would've done away with the permitting process altogether.     

Experts say state lawmakers will likely revive at least some of those bills as policymakers in Washington, D.C., debate whether to toughen the nation's gun laws.

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