Georgia’s No-Wait Gun Laws Allowed Robert Aaron Long to Immediately Obtain Firearm
Georgia gun laws are under review Tuesday after three shootings at spas in the Atlanta area that killed eight people, including six Asian women.
Robert Aaron Long, the custody suspect charged with eight murders and one major assault, was arrested by law enforcement at around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said a 9mm firearm was found in the car Long was driving when he was arrested. It was the only weapon they’d found.
Lange bought a gun from Big Woods Goods in Cherokee County the Tuesday before the shooting, Matt Kilgo, a lawyer for the business, told Newsweek.
Kilgo added that the deal has been working fully with law enforcement and there is “absolutely no indication” that anything was inappropriate in handing the gun over to Long.
NBC News also reported that the gun was legally purchased on Tuesday, according to two senior law enforcement officers.
Georgia doesn’t have to wait to sell firearms. This means that if a person passes a background check, a person can enter a federally licensed arms seller and make a purchase right away.
“Most background checks with no flag on them take about 100 seconds,” Robyn Thomas, executive director of Giffords Law Center, told Newsweek. “So you talk for a maximum of two minutes and then you have your weapon. You can walk out the door without training and without any other information.”
Giffords, a national gun violence prevention advocacy group, has given Georgia an “F” on its annual gun laws scorecard in all 50 states. Peach State has the 14th highest gun death rate in the nation. Republican lawmakers are pushing for new laws that would allow “lawful gunmen” to carry a firearm without a license.
Matthew Wilson, a representative of the Democratic State of Georgia, tweeted Wednesday, “In Georgia, buying a gun is easier than choosing.”
Another state official, Mike Wilensky, tweeted, “We need a law in Georgia that says there is a wait after applying for a gun. I’ve never heard of anyone in a hurry to get a gun for a safe reason to get . “
Police officers are seen outside a massage parlor where a person was shot dead on March 16, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Eight people were killed in shootings at three different Georgia spas on March 16, and a 21-year-old male suspect is in custody.
Elijah Nouvelage / AFP via Getty Images
There are waiting times for gun purchases in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Waiting times vary from 72 hours in Illinois to around 10 days in California and Washington DC
“I would really encourage Georgia and other states across the country to look at what happened here and think about what they could do to reduce or prevent such incidents,” said Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down advocacy group America, said Newsweek.
Volsky referred to a 2017 study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found that waiting-time laws that delay the purchase of firearms by a few days cut the number of gun homicides by around 17 percent.
“Obviously, this is particularly relevant given the spike we’ve seen in hate crimes in this country. We’re at a 10-year high,” said Volsky. “Specifically, the recent surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans.”
While the deadly shootings have not yet been definitively classified as a hate crime by authorities, they take place amid a national spate of attacks against Asian Americans. Research released Tuesday by Stop AAPI Hate showed that nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported over the course of a year since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Vice President Kamala Harris expressed her support to the Asian-American community and said: “We stand by you and understand how this has terrified, shocked and outraged everyone. We also want to express our solidarity with them and recognize that none of us are should ever be silent in the face of some form of hatred. “