Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill on Tuesday that allows anyone to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public. No background check needed. No license needed.
Other states that have loosened handgun laws have seen violent crime shoot up 13 to 15% within 10 years, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. And only 44% of Republicans in Georgia support such a law (with opposition from 70% of all voters in the state), according to CBS. But these facts don't faze Kemp, who is appealing to the far-right MTG-MAGA folk of the GOP.
"[This bill] makes sure that law-abiding Georgians, including our daughters and your family too, can protect themselves without having to have permission from your state government," Kemp said Tuesday.
Kemp will likely spend significant time on the campaign trail touting the legislation leading up to his May 24 primary against former Senator David Perdue. Kemp and supporters of the legislation have argued that the law enhances personal safety and protects Second Amendment rights. …
Democrats and gun safety advocates have said that the process of applying for a license has led to thousands of people being denied licenses who are not allowed to possess weapons, including convicted felons and people who have been hospitalized for mental health issues or treated for addiction in recent years. …
"Kemp knows states that pass criminal carry see increases in gun violence," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams tweeted. "He knows 5,200+ permits were denied in a single year, for example, because of felony convictions or domestic abuse. He knows the danger. Kemp just doesn't care."
Abrams and other opponents have branded the law as "criminal carry" as a play on the term that advocates use for it, "constitutional carry."
In addition to the gun legislation signed Tuesday, Kemp will likely be touting other conservative bills passed by the legislature over the next several weeks, including bills restricting how teachers talk about race in class, potentially allowing the state athletic association to ban transgender athletes from participating in womens sports and giving the state bureau of investigation authority to investigate claims of election fraud.