Politics

Atlanta Mayor Bottoms Blames City’s Violent Surge On Guns, Open Carry

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Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told MSNBC Friday that the state of Georgia’s open carry laws were partially to blame for an uptick in violence in the state.

“What’s happening in Atlanta is what’s happening across the country,” Bottoms said, mentioning lack of access to health care and the nation’s high unemployment rate. (RELATED: Andrew Cuomo Rips Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Over ‘Factually Impossible’ Claims)

“People are dying of COVID-19. We have witnessed the injustices that have happened in front of our eyes and its boiling over into our streets.”

“The irony of it is that our overall crime rate is down by 18%, but in Georgia, an open carry state, people are allowed to walk down the streets with assault weapons, and we don’t have probable cause to stop them,” Bottoms added. “You don’t get to pick and choose which demographic you get to stop and question as to why they’re walking in our streets with open weapons. It is an issue in Atlanta. It’s an issue in other cities across this nation, and it is one that we take very seriously.”

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Atlanta is one of many major cities that have experienced surges in crime in recent months as protests over the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor continue. Between May 31 and June 27, 93 people were shot in Atlanta, up from 46 people that were shot during that time span in 2019, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The number of homicides in the city more than doubled compared to 2019. (RELATED: Biden’s VP Short List Includes Atlanta Mayor And Congresswoman Who Used To Be Police Chief: Report)

The violence appeared to reach a tipping point earlier in July, when an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed, leading Bottoms to tell the protesters to go home.

“This discussion, this mediation, and … it’s over. At a point where an 8-year-old baby is killed, the discussions have ended,” the mayor said at the time.