Guns discussed at annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast - CBS46 News

Guns discussed at annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

State lawmakers got together with Georgia business leaders Wednesday morning for the annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast, sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

A couple thousand people gathered inside a ballroom at the Georgia World Congress Center for the event, traditionally held at the start of the legislative session. It's a chance to get a sneak peek at what the governor and other top lawmakers have in mind for the session.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, addressed the audience before state leaders had their turn. Isakson talked about the major fiscal challenges in Washington right now, including entitlement spending, which he said has been on cruise control long enough.

"You cannot get your arms around your debt and your increasing deficit unless you get into some very difficult subjects like entitlements, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, SSI disability, federal retirement, state retirement and the like," he said. "We've got to face those, and as a member of the Finance Committee, I stand ready to take a stance to make the difficult decisions to make it right for America in the long run."

Isakson said there is a "relatively" easy fix for the Social Security crisis - raising the age of eligibility.

"We're going to have to push that eligibility out again," Isakson said. "It goes to 67 in a couple of years. For my children, it may need to be 68. For my grandchildren, it may need to be 69. But their life expectancies are longer. Their working productive years are longer, and they won't miss it. But we'll save the program, not just for those that have it today as they know it, but for those who should expect to have it because it's a contract between the country and the taxpayer."

Isakson also weighed in on President Barack Obama's gun control proposal.

"In 1994 under the Clinton administration, a 10-year ban on assault weapons was passed, five years later Columbine took place. So we've had an experience where banning the weapon does not solve the problem. It may make somebody feel good, but it really doesn't solve the problem," said Isakson.

Isakson said he would not support a ban on assault weapons. He feels it will be a tough sell for Congress.

"I think if you talk about a ban, that's going to be impossible. If you're talking about doing a thoughtful process on mental health, a thoughtful process on background checks, that may be possible. I don' t think you are going to see any bans," said Isakson.

Gov. Nathan Deal agrees with Isakson.

"There is one area that I do believe we need to tighten up and that is the checking of mental health records as required by the state for permitting purposes," said Deal.

Deal also supports the idea of arming trained school administrators.

"I think that one does have some merit. If someone is going to be in an environment around children they need to be trained," said Deal. "I understand the point of view of the author of that legislation. I think it is one that may receive favorable consideration by the general assembly."

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