ATLANTA - A group of state lawmakers in Georgia are introducing legislation intended to breakdown language and cultural barriers between law enforcement agencies and the Asian American Pacific Islander community, as well as sponsor bills that would introduce a five-day waiting period for firearm purchases.
A delegation of AAPI legislators announced the bills on Tuesday in response to recent deadly shootings at Atlanta-area spas that saw eight victims killed, including six Asian Americans and seven women.
House Bill 789 and Senate Bill 311 — respectively sponsored by Rep. Marvin Lim, D-Norcross, and Sen. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek — would direct the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to train members of law enforcement in community response, intervention and provide language-accessible outreach programs, according to an announcement.
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House Bill 787, sponsored by Rep. Bee Nguyen, D-Atlanta, and Senate Bill 308, sponsored by Sheikh Rahman, D-Lawrenceville, would direct the Georgia Emergency Communications Authority to establish a language translation system within the state’s 911 communications center.
House Bill 788, sponsored by Rep. Sam Park, D-Lawrenceville, and Senate Bill 309, sponsored by Au, would require a five-day waiting period for the purchase of a firearm, including a prior background check by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and make it a felony for violators selling or buying a firearm before the waiting period.
The legislators released a joint statement on Tuesday:
"Together, we mourn the senseless loss of life from those so cherished, so important and so loved by their families and friends in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We look to our history, and where this country has been, and we look forward to the change we need to see. As AAPI legislators in the Georgia Senate and House, we are committed to not only drawing attention to the issues our communities face, but enacting meaningful change through legislation to address them."
The full text of the bills will be available when they are formally introduced.
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