SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Talk of gun control in Georgia can turn controversial and political pretty quickly. But following a mass shooting at as school in Texas, several democratic lawmakers said common sense gun measures are still needed in the Peach State and they will try again to bring up the issue in the next legislative session.

“One of the sad things is I didn’t have to prepare much for remarks for this (press) event because the fact is we’ve been here many times before,” said State Sen. Michelle Au who is also a physician. “And today we’re talking about the very American epidemic of gun violence again. We’re talking about innocent lives lost in this brutally efficient way that results from easy access to guns.”

Au was joined by another democratic lawmaker, State Rep. Sam Park and two men who spoke firsthand about the effects of mass shootings. Both lost loved ones in the shooting that killed 8 women at a massage parlor in Atlanta in March 2021.

“So, gun violence is a personal issue for me,” said Robert Petersen. “Gun violence is the reason my mother and 7 other victims are not here with today to enjoy their lives and families. The gunman who murdered my mother was able to obtain a gun the same day he decided to carry out his crime across two counties.”

Michael Webb says his wife was killed in the Atlanta mass shooting last year.

“Let me be clear, I’m a gun owner and I’m a hunter, I support our rights to own a firearm, but I also support common sense gun control and gun safety,” Webb said.

“We cannot remain silent just because the vocal minority will attempt to drown out those of us who speak out about guns,” said Webb. “Stop already with the thoughts and prayers after each massacre. Gov. Kemp and Georgia leader needs to do something.”

Au says in the wake of the Atlanta shooting that it’s appropriate to ask what Kemp has done to protect Georgians. “Absolutely nothing,” she said.

Democrats are blasting Kemp for signing the law that allows Georgians to carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit.

“So the governor signed this bill into law despite opposition from 70% of Georgians,” Au said.

She said state GOP state leaders need to answer for letting Georgians down.

State Rep. Ron Stephens is just one of many Republicans who voted for what’s known as the ‘permitless’ carry law.

“No, there’s no apologies at all for that, I stand behind it and I believe people ought to be able to protect themselves,” Stephens said.

Stephens says in the past legislatie session, republicans poured money into mental health services which he says is often the cause of mass shootings.

“And that’s where we need to focus our attention is on the mental health side, not a knee jerk reaction to go out to everybody’s house and confiscate their guns, we’re not Russia yet and we’re not going to do that,” Stephens said.

The democrats say they don’t want to take anyone’s guns, they just want common measures things like a more extensive system for background checks and a waiting period to buy a gun.

“I know from our standpoint we are not going to give up,” said Au. “Because the environment around gun safety is changing and with each successive tragedy, I think we’re going to create an environment where we are going to demand that our least start to have this conversation in public about at least passing or discussing common sense gun safety legislation.”