Facebook Twitter

ATLANTA BEGS NEIGHBORS FOR GUN CONTROL AFTER MALL SHOOTING

SHARE ATLANTA BEGS NEIGHBORS FOR GUN CONTROL AFTER MALL SHOOTING

Three days after a mental patient took his new gun to a suburban mall and shot five people, Mayor Maynard Jackson pleaded Friday with outlying counties to adopt a handgun waiting period similar to Atlanta's.

"No one is trying to prohibit the use of handguns," Jackson said at a hastily called crime summit at City Hall. "What we're talking about is a sane and civilized system - where someone who's insane and crazy cannot get a gun and kill somebody."Atlanta and surrounding Fulton County now require a 15-day wait for the purchase of a handgun, to allow public safety officials time to investigate the buyer's background.

But virtually anyone can visit towns in surrounding counties to buy a gun with no delay since Georgia's local and state governments traditionally have been hostile to any kind of gun control.

About three dozen elected officials and police leaders from the metro area attended Jackson's meeting. None spoke up to oppose the waiting-period proposal.

"We've got to do something," said Mayor T.O. Smith of College Park, near Atlanta's southside airport. "It's got to be at the state level, but we can set an example."

After the meeting, Commissioner Nate Mosby of DeKalb County, where the shootings occurred, said he would draft waiting-period legislation.

"I think the majority of the commission would be amenable to some kind of deterrent, and the waiting period is the most palatable," he said.

"My plea is a consistent waiting period in the eight counties of metro Atlanta - that's all I'm asking," Jackson said. "When somebody's got a record as a homicidal maniac, it gives us a chance to check."

James Calvin Brady, identified as the gunman who killed one and injured four Tuesday at Perimeter Mall, had been released a day earlier from a state mental hospital, even though a medical form he was still carrying listed him as "homicidal." After being released, he bought the gun in suburban Avondale Estates.