Georgia gun stores supplied more guns that were later recovered at crimes in other places than any other state, says to a Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence review of 2007 federal data reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Georgia outranked much more populous states such as Florida, which was second, and Texas, which was third. Last year, there were 11.7 gun deaths for every 100,000 people in Georgia compared with a national rate of 10.35 per 100,000.
Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms industry, accused the Brady Center of pandering to gun-control advocates and mischaracterizing the ATF gun tracing data, which the law limits. Georgia has long had the reputation as a gun-friendly state. Its firearms law is the minimum required by federal statute; sales are allowed only to adults who have no criminal records and have not been involuntarily committed to a hospital for mental illness. On July 1, a new law will let permitted gun owners carry weapons on mass transit and into restaurants if the gun owners are not drinking alcohol. “Our laws are, if anything, too restrictive,” said Bob Thornton of the Georgia Sport Shooting Association. “The laws in place are certainly not lax, as the Brady organization would imply.”