The Georgia Legislature has passed legislation to allow the carrying of firearms without a permit, bringing the number of “constitutional carry” states to 25, and setting the stage for a political confrontation over the right to bear arms in states clinging to permit systems.
Gov. Brian Kemp says he will sign it. The legislation was backed by the National Rifle Association, which issued a statement Friday.
“The NRA paved the way for constitutional carry by first leading the charge for right-to-carry nearly 40 years ago,” said Wayne LaPierre, CEO and executive vice president. “Today, every state, and the District of Columbia, provides for the carrying of a firearm for self-defense outside the home in some form, and half the nation recognizes the Second Amendment protects law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense as an inherent and inalienable right. NRA members have led this extraordinary brick-by-brick effort in building and expanding America’s self-defense laws and we are not done!”
“This is a monumental moment for the Second Amendment, NRA members and gun owners nationwide,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Half the country now rightfully recognizes the fundamental right to carry a firearm for self-defense as enshrined in our Constitution – as opposed to a government privilege that citizens must ask permission to exercise. Passing this essential legislation has been a priority for the NRA for many years, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this huge success.”
I look forward to signing the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021 into law soon and fulfilling another promise I made to the voters of this state. https://t.co/MmIPrR6uw5
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 1, 2022
However, Georgia Democrats are not a happy lot. Max Flugrath, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia, issued the following statement, according to WGCL in Atlanta.
“Kemp and (David) Perdue’s push for extreme, unpopular election-year legislation which would lead to a new gun safety loophole and make our state less safe tells you all you need to know about their priorities: they care more about their political aspirations than serving Georgians. Brian Kemp claims to support law enforcement, but his signature on this bill would ignore law enforcement’s warnings that it would put officers in greater danger – all in an effort to gain the support of special interests and extremists as he faces attacks from Donald Trump and David Perdue while seeking re-election.”
Georgia is the fourth state to adopt permitless carry this year, joining Alabama, Indiana and Ohio.
The issue of licensed concealed carry is on the line at the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the challenge to New York State’s onerous “good cause” requirement for getting a carry permit. A ruling should be handed down in late June.