Heading into 2022, there is speculation Georgia could join the ranks of “constitutional carry” states, but it may take some doing.
According to WXIA News, “Backers of expanded gun rights are hopeful an election-year legislature will eliminate the need for permits to carry a concealed weapon…Eliminating the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon has been floated repeatedly at the capitol over the years. 2022 could be the year Republican lawmakers actually get it done.”
The Georgia Recorder likewise reported the potential for new gun rights legislation.
“Each new legislative session brings the opportunity for lawmakers to bring home a victory for their constituents,” the Georgia Recorder said, “and for Georgia Republicans, passing an expansion of gun rights in 2022 could be just the thing to make their base happy in an election year.”
This year, five states adopted permitless carry. They are Texas, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee and Utah. The idea is popular in states with Republican governors, not so much where Democrats are in charge.
Gov. Brian Kemp supported permitless carry when he ran in 2018, WXIA recalled, and gun rights could become a campaign issue as he is being challenged by David Perdue, a former U.S. senator who represented the Peach State. The story noted Purdue “has been posting photos of himself in gun stores, talking up gun rights and endorsing bills” such as the one introduced this year by state Rep. Emory Dunahoo.”
As noted by the Recorder story, Perdue issued a statement Dec. 20 observing, “Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights to carry a firearm without having to pay for and carry a government permit. Twenty-one states have constitutional carry, but despite his promises on the campaign trail, Brian Kemp has failed to make it a reality in Georgia. As Governor, I’ll work with the state legislature to finally enact constitutional carry.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that House Speaker David Ralston “said he is open to supporting ‘constitutional carry,’ a gun rights expansion which generally involves letting gun owners conceal and carry handguns without a permit, which is now required by Georgia law.”
However, last year when legislation was introduced, WXIA recalled, “At the Georgia capitol, the opposition has come from Democrats – and even from some Republicans…”
Dunahoo told the station he is hopeful 2022 could breathe new life into his bill because it is an election year and such a measure would conceivably fire up the voter base in November.