Kemp and Perdue’s Dangerous Permit-less Carry Passes Georgia Senate

February 28, 2022

Today, Brian Kemp and David Perdue’s allies in the State Senate passed extreme legislation supported by both GOP gubernatorial candidates that would make it easier for criminals to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. SB 319, which is opposed by 70% of Georgians, allows the carrying of firearms in public without a permit, effectively eliminating part of the background check process which anyone wanting to carry a concealed firearm currently must undergo.

The existing permit process prevented over 5,000 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. This legislation’s change could allow individuals with a criminal history who purchased a gun through a private sale to now legally carry a weapon in our communities.

States that have passed permit-less carry laws saw spikes in aggravated assaults with a gun up to 65%, while states that weakened their firearm permitting system saw up to a 15% increase in violent crime. Permit-less carry has faced opposition from law enforcement officers across the country, including AlabamaLouisianaSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexas, and Georgia.

“Brian Kemp and David Perdue have tall talk on addressing violent crime, but they’re calling for extreme legislation that will bring more guns to Georgia’s streets and more gun violence in our communities. Bill sponsors still haven’t adequately addressed the issue of the thousands of concealed weapon permit applicants denied in 2020 due to criminal histories, who could carry hidden, loaded firearms in public under this legislation. Making it easier for people to carry guns in public — without a permit and its background check process — will increase the risk of violence in our communities and put our law enforcement officers in even more danger,” stated Max Flugrath, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

AJC column: “A new poll taken for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says about 70% of Georgians oppose allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit. But the heck with public opinion at large, there’s a primary election coming and craven pols must please the base.”

Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy: Over 80% of gun owners, non-gun owners, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents across the nation agree that high safety standards are crucial in issuing concealed carry permits:

  • 83% of gun owners agree
  • 83% of Republican voters agree
  • 87% of Democratic voters agree
  • 84% of Independent voters agree


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