UPDATE: State House tackles celebratory gunfire

ATLANTA – The state House has taken a stand against celebratory gunfire.

State representatives on Monday voted in favor of HR 341, which encourages governments and businesses “to promote an increased public awareness of the dangers of celebratory gunfire and further urges state and local governments and law enforcement agencies to better educate Georgians regarding the serious threat created by firing a weapon into the air during a celebration.”

In passing the measure, lawmakers acknowledged they are “committed to studying and adopting tougher criminal sanctions for those who commit celebratory gunfire which results in injury or death to another person.”

“The loss of an innocent human life is always tragic, but it seems even more so when it is caused by a thoughtless random act,” state Rep. Michele Henson, D-Stone Mountain, said in a news release. “There are times we all want to celebrate special occasions, but it is never right to celebrate in a way that endangers human life – it is never right to celebrate with random gunfire.”

In the resolution, lawmakers cited Marquel Peters, a four-year-old who was killed by celebratory gunfire in DeKalb County on New Year’s Eve 2010.

The measure passed 139-23.

Peters’ death also spawned Marquel’s Pledge. For more information about Marquel’s Pledge, click here.

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