Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is trying to get re-elected at all costs, even if it means sacrificing the safety and well-being of his constituents. Considering Kemp went viral in 2018 for an ad where he pointed a gun at a young man, it’s not surprising he would back this legislation for political points.
No longer Trump’s favorite, Kemp is reaching for any gimmick to maintain his lead in the upcoming elections. And despite claims that this is about protecting Georgian’s constitutional rights, unlike voting rights, the right to own and use a gun hasn’t been under attack.
The move also comes just hours after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted about the need for “good people” with guns and how that might have prevented the shooting on the subway in New York. Newsflash, New York City pays thousands of “good people” with guns to patrol the subways and Tuesday’s shooting still happened.
Georgia is not the first state or the tenth state to enact “constitutional carry.” The new law makes Georgia the 25th state to enact permitless concealed carry.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, most Georgia voters previously polled do not support the law. This includes 54 percent of those identifying as Republicans. Kemp claimed it was necessary because of the “challenging times,” not caring about the mixed message being sent to the public. (Read the full article here).
Also, claiming to be worried about “crime” while sending the message that it’s ok to shoot first and ask later just creates more potential crime. People think that having a gun means they can use the gun, like the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery, will cause greater harm in communities across the state.
But the good news is people will still have to undergo a background check when dealing with a licensed gun dealer. There is no requirement for background checks when buying from a private seller, such as at a gun show.
And despite claiming that this was necessary to protect people’s right to bear arms, Georgia has pretty lenient gun laws. Giffords, the gun violence group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Gifford pointed out the law comes a year after eight people including six Asian women were murdered in the Atlanta metro area by a single gunman.
The former congresswoman was shot 11 years ago during a constituent event spurring her fight for gun rights. Georgia previously received an F on a scorecard released by the Giffords Law Center.
Responding to the news on Twitter, Georgia Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams tweeted that over 5,000 people were previously denied permits under existing law.
According to the Valdosta Times, Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent cited the stat based on state superior court records. Earlier news reports also show Republican state senators invoking Ukrainian citizens currently taking up arms as a rationalization for passing constitutional carry.
During a Tuesday press conference, state Rep. Kimberly Alexander said Kemp ignored the will of communities, law enforcement and gun violence victims. She said Kemp traded “lives for votes.”
“Kemp’s decision to fold to the pressure from Trump and Perdue is all about his own political survival — but what about the survival of gun violence victims? This year, the youngest gun violence victim was just six months old,” Alexander said. “It’s shameful the governor has stooped this low to support his re-election campaign. But what else can we expect from a typical political hack with no conviction?”
The law does not change where guns are permitted or who is allowed to own a gun. People looking to carry their concealed weapons in another state will still have to undergo the permitting process, including a background check, fingerprinting, and a $75 fee. There is no training requirement or anything of that nature involved in gun ownership in Georgia.
“Tragically, communities across Georgia will likely experience the harmful effects of gun violence even more so with the signing of this reckless bill,” said Sean Holihan, state legislative director at Giffords. “Instead of focusing on protecting Georgians, Governor Kemp has made it his mission to pass reckless laws in the middle of a wave of gun violence affecting the Peach State from Calhoun to Cairo. Instead of passing effective laws, like strengthened background checks, Governor Kemp has eliminated protections that help prevent people who can’t pass a background check from being able to carry hidden loaded weapons in public spaces.