Ralston: House won’t consider assault weapons ban

House Speaker David Ralston said Friday that legislation to ban assault weapons in Georgia will not become law on his watch.

“As long as I am speaker of this House, I will not use any of our valuable time taking away the constitutional rights of our citizens,” Ralston told reporters at an impromptu news conference, making the end of the first five days of the 40-day legislative session.

On Thursday, religious and community leaders attended a Capitol press conference to voice support for legislation proposed by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, calling for a ban on A-K 47s, other assault weapons, large capacity magazines and armor-piercing bullets.

Oliver said she hoped the bill, while controversial, could start an intellectual discussion about gun violence.

Ralston said the press conference “is about as much energy and time as you will see utilized” on the topic of an assault weapons ban.

“In the wake of [the mass shootings in] Paris and San Bernadino, [I can’t see] how someone believes that the solutions to some of these problems are to disarm law-abiding Georgians and Americans,” the speaker said.

Asked about Oliver’s claim that assault weapons are different than most weapons Americans use for personal protection or hunting, Ralston said: “It is taking the right to possess and bear arms.

“It’s not something we’re going to deal with in the House.”

To become law, a bill has to pass both the House and Senate.