ATLANTA (WSAV) — A report by shows more than 1600 people die a year due to gun violence and more than 4,000 are hurt by guns, with the peach state having the 9th highest rate of gun violence in the country.

“Guns are the number one killers of our children in Georgia. I don’t have all the numbers. We have a responsibility to address,” said State Rep. Becky Evans (D-Dekalb County) “I hope we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to implement a safer gun storage act.”

That’s why some lawmakers want a new bill passed that would require a lock for gun owners to prevent weapons from getting into the wrong hands or lead to accidental shootings.

“It’s a problem because children are finding guns and killing themselves or other family members,” Rep. Evans said. 

But Republican lawmakers say the solution is not to ban guns but fund mental health and tackle gang recruitment to protect kids – which is the real concern in Georgia.

State Rep. Mark Newton (R-Augusta) said, “You don’t have security for your family and public safety is not emphasized and don’t feel like your kids are safe or mother or family members safe then you don’t have what you do to enjoy life and have Georgia be what it ought to be.”

“Our suicide is very high. Evidence shows you are more likely to follow through an action if you have access to a gun,” Rep. Evans stated. 

Democratic lawmakers say the series of bills would toughen penalities if a gun wasn’t safely secured with a minor at home.