Georgia Parents Call On Kemp to Return Campaign Cash From Uvalde AR-15 Manufacturer, Raise Alarms on “Criminal Carry” Law

June 23, 2022

Today, following a new report revealing Brian Kemp took campaign cash from Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the AR-15 used in the Uvalde shooting, Georgia parents came together to denounce the governor’s extreme “criminal carry” law and his out-of-touch stance on gun violence prevention — and called on Kemp to return the over $50,000 his campaign has received from Daniel Defense and its CEO.

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“At a time when guns are the leading cause of death among children in Georgia, Brian Kemp accepting campaign cash from the maker of the Uvalde AR-15 is tone deaf, and he should return the campaign contributions he took from Daniel Defense and its CEO immediately,” said Stefanie Ramirez Sparks, mother of a seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. “We need leaders willing to take action and protect our families, not people who curry favor and line their pockets with cash from the gun lobby. Brian Kemp must show that  he stands with us, Georgia families and children, over the gun lobby.” 

“It’s already way too easy for anyone to have a gun in this state, and for the sake of our children that needs to change. Kemp’s new criminal carry law essentially does away with the concealed permit process, including its background check — it’s extreme and dangerous, and takes us in the wrong direction on gun safety,” stated Ann Roberts, mother of a ten-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. “And less than a month before Kemp weakened our gun laws, he took a $25,000 contribution from the gun manufacturer who made the firearm used in the Uvalde school shooting. Mr. Kemp should return that contribution and any others he took from the company and its CEO immediately.”

“Kemp’s criminal carry law makes me fear for the safety of myself, my daughter, and my family. I’m uncomfortable in public spaces — the grocery store, the gas station, even in places like this park — with criminal carry now the law of the land in Georgia. When the news about the Uvalde shooting broke, I was at a school event with my daughter. It was jarring and painful to take in the news of that tragedy while at a school with my child and so many others’ children,” shared Christina Grange, mother to an eight-year-old daughter. “The majority of Georgians support common sense gun safety measures and oppose Kemp’s criminal carry law. Mayors and law enforcement officers across the state have shared major concerns with the law — but Brian Kemp chose to risk our safety anyway. He’s proven he’s out of touch on guns, he’s passed extreme, dangerous laws, pointed a shotgun at a boy on TV, and cozied up to the gun lobby. We all deserve to feel safe in our communities and out in public, and we deserve a governor who will listen to Georgians and take action on gun safety to protect us and our kids.”

“Lately, I’ve been feeling like I live in the wrong state to raise elementary school kids. In a state where gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children and teens, Governor Kemp is moving us in the wrong direction on gun safety. And that makes me worried every time I drop my kids off at school,” noted Valerie Calhoun, mother of a seven-year-old son and five-year-old son.“Just last week, we learned that $25,000 of that donation came less than a month before Kemp signed his dangerous criminal carry law. It’s shameful that Kemp is padding his campaign coffers with money from assault weapon manufacturers – especially one that’s come under fire for marketing weapons to children. By accepting these contributions, Kemp is showing parents that his campaign comes before our children. He’s showing that for him, support from the gun lobby comes before our family’s safety. Kemp must immediately return Daniel Defense’s donation.”


A new report last week revealed that Gov. Brian Kemp took over $50,000 in political contributions from Daniel Defense, the company that manufactured the AR-15 used in the Uvalde shooting. The contributions include a $25,000 donation to Kemp’s leadership committee less than a month before he signed into law his extreme “criminal carry” bill, which makes it easier for criminals to carry loaded, hidden guns in public. 

Kemp’s “criminal carry” law is opposed by 70% of Georgians and has drawn concerns from law enforcement officers and mayors across the state. Even a Second Amendment advocacy group worried it could have a detrimental impact on public safety, while members of Kemp’s own party are also backing away from Kemp’s extreme record on guns – from Republican voters to leaders like Kemp’s own Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan.

“Criminal carry” created a new loophole by eliminating part of the background check process which anyone wanting to carry a concealed firearm currently must undergo. The change makes it easier for individuals with a criminal history who purchased a gun through a private sale – which is not subject to a background check – to carry a weapon in public. The existing permit process prevented over 5,200 applicants from obtaining firearm carry licenses in 2020 — the majority of those denials were due to prior criminal records, outstanding arrests, mental health flags, or domestic violence charges.

States that have passed similar laws have seen increases in violent crime. Georgia already has the 17th highest rate of gun deaths in the nation and its rate of gun deaths increased 41% from 2011 to 2020. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for kids and teens in the state.


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