State Watch

Kemp announces effort to loosen handgun policies in Georgia

Associated Press/Elijah Nouvelage

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced on Wednesday that he would push for a new law to loosen requirements on carrying a handgun in public.

Kemp said on Wednesday he was looking forward to working with members of the state House and Senate, which are both controlled by Republicans, along with the National Rifle Association “to get constitutional carry across the finish line this legislative session.”

“Building a safer, stronger Georgia starts with hardworking Georgians having the ability to protect themselves and their families,” the governor said at a press conference on Wednesday. “In the face of rising violent crime across the country, law-abiding citizens should have their constitutional rights protected, not undermined.”

“I believe the United States Constitution grants the citizens of our state the right to carry a firearm without state government approval,” he added, claiming that for “law-abiding Georgians their carry permit is the founding document of our nation.”

Kemp is facing a GOP primary against former Sen. David Perdue (Ga.), who has been endorsed by former President Trump, in his upcoming reelection bid. Trump turned on Kemp after he refused to overturn President Biden’s 2020 election win in the state.

The governor has long been a strong advocate for the Second Amendment. His first campaign for governor featured a controversial campaign advertisement in which Kemp pointed a gun at a teenager who was “interested in one of [his] daughters.”

In response to Kemp’s announcement on Wednesday, Lauren Groh-Wargo, the campaign manager for Stacey Abrams, who is again running for the Democratic nomination for governor after losing to Kemp in 2018, referenced the advertisement.

“The same guy who pointed a gun at a teenager on TV now panders with reckless proposals threatening Georgia lives,” Groh-Wargo said in a tweet

At the time of the advertisement, Kemp tweeted in response to criticism that “liberals in the media are losing their minds off a fake controversy.”

“I won’t back down, cave in, or compromise my values,” he added.

Tags Brian Kemp David Perdue Donald Trump Georgia governor's race 2022 Gun rights Joe Biden Second Amendment

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