Currently, there are more people in favor of gun rights than gun control in the United States, with 52% in favor of gun rights and 46% calling for stricter control. Gun violence is so prevalent in the US that individual cities have firearm homicide rates comparable to those of the deadliest foreign countries. Corey Ray, a public affairs official from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explained, “Of the states (with the most gun stores), Texas tops the list with 10,886, (while) California has 8,311 and Florida has 7,498.” But does the amount of FFLs (“Federal Firearms Licensees”) directly correlate to the amount of gun violence?
In this City Index, we look at the availability of legal gun stores and firearms dealers in various cities around the world. We consider the firearms economy’s relationship to gun laws and policies, safety and crime statistics, illegal trading, and community activism.
Atlanta has pretty lax gun policies. While Georgia law requires a state license for handgun dealers, it doesn’t require a background check or prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines. There is also no limit to purchases at one time with zero waiting period as well, and no regulation of unsafe handguns or ammunition. Local governments cannot regulate firearms or deny concealed weapons permits, so it’s a pretty “for the (trigger happy) people” kind of state.
In 2014, Georgia passed the so-called “Guns Everywhere” bill allowing residents to “carry guns into bars, nightclubs, school classrooms, and certain government buildings that lack security personnel or devices – with a license to carry, of course,” reports Michele Richinick of MSNBC. Supporters say it protects the 2nd Amendment and promotes safety. However, “Guns Everywhere” did not sit well with the Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed, who officially responded:
People the world over are reasonably divided on the topic of guns as the history, culture, legality and impact of guns are not universal among countries and their cities. Governments decide whether ownership of firearms is a protected right, a privilege, or a crime; they likewise enumerate any requirements, restrictions, or bans in relation to trading, possessing, and carrying firearms. According to the Library of Congress, “gun crime rates and mass murders involving firearms have had particular impacts on the legal approaches of some countries,” however, the gun rights vs. gun control debate worldwide remains highly partisan.