WHAT THEY’RE SEEING: Parents Call On Kemp to Return Campaign Cash From Uvalde AR-15 Manufacturer, Raise Alarms on “Criminal Carry” Law

June 28, 2022

Georgians across the state are hearing from Atlanta mothers who called out Brian Kemp last week for taking over $50,000 in campaign cash from Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the AR-15 used in the Uvalde shooting, and its CEO. The campaign contributions included $25,000 to Kemp’s leadership committee, less than a month before he weakened Georgia’s gun laws. The mothers also denounced Kemp’s extreme “criminal carry” law and his out-of-touch stance on gun violence prevention.

Here’s what Georgians are seeing:

CBS46 — Atlanta TV:

  • CBS46 Anchor: “Governor Brian Kemp is under fire for his connection to the manufacturer of the gun used in that Texas school shooting. As CBS46’s Rebekka Schramm explains, Democrats say the governor accepted campaign money from that gun manufacturer.”
  • CBS46 Reporter Rebekka Schramm: “Democrats organized a news conference today in the Grant Park area of southeast Atlanta, and they let local moms do the talking.” 
  • Valerie Calhoun, mother of two: “Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m living in the wrong state to raise children.”
  • CBS46 Reporter Rebekka Schramm: “Joined by members of the Democratic Party of Georgia, a group of parents called on Republican Governor Brian Kemp to return the more than $50,000 they say his campaign received from Daniel Defense and its CEO. Daniel Defense in Southeast Georgia is the manufacturer of the gun that the 18-year-old shooter used to kill 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas last month. The group denounced Kemp’s signing of Georgia’s new law that allows lawful weapons carriers to carry a concealed handgun without first having to get a weapons license from the state.”
  • Christina Grange, mother of an eight-year-old: “Looser laws around carrying a loaded concealed firearm – that only increases the chances that people will, for whatever reason, be able to harm other people, other families.”

FOX 5 — Atlanta TV:

  • FOX 5 Anchor: “A group of Georgia parents wants Governor Brian Kemp to return more than $50,000 back to the CEO of a gun maker.” 
  • FOX 5 Anchor: “The group held a news conference this morning to make the demand. They claimed the Kemp campaign received the money from Daniel Defense, which manufactures AR-15s. The group also wants the governor to rethink his position on Georgia’s gun carry laws.”
  • Ann Roberts, mother of two: “Our governor should put our safety first before his own reelection campaign, and stop risking our lives and our children’s lives with extreme laws that only push our country’s dangerous gun culture even further.”
  • FOX 5 Anchor: “We have reached out to the Kemp campaign for their response but we haven’t yet heard back. The group’s push for change comes after that mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas in which a man with an AR-15 gunned down 19 students and two teachers.”

WRDW — Augusta TV:

  • WRDW Anchor: “A group of parents protested today in Atlanta to call on Governor Kemp to push for gun safety. They want him to return more than $50,000 that CEO Daniel Defense, an air rifle manufacturer, donated towards his campaign. It’s the same company who made the weapon the 18-year-old gunman used in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. One speaker, a mother, says she feels like she’s raising her kids in the wrong state.
  • Christina Grange, mother of an eight-year-old: “Looser laws around carrying a loaded concealed firearm – that only increases the chances that people will, for whatever reason, be able to harm other people, other families.”
  • WRDW Anchor: “Protesters also criticized Governor Kemp for recently signing a new law that allows someone to carry a hidden handgun without getting a concealed weapons license first. The governor is not commenting on the protests at this time.”

 Georgia News Network — Georgia Radio:

  • GNN Anchor: “A group of Georgia parents is demanding that Governor Kemp give back the money a gun manufacturer donated to his campaign.”
  • GNN Anchor: “Governor Kemp is being scrutinized by a group of parents and the Democratic Party of Georgia who gathered at Grant Park on Atlanta’s southeast side Thursday.”
  • GNN Anchor: “They are demanding that he give back the $50,000 his campaign received from Daniel Defense, the gun manufacturer of the AR-15 used in the Uvalde school shooting.”
  • “Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m living in the wrong state to raise children,” Valerie Calhoun, an Atlanta mother, says.
  • GNN Anchor: “The Georgia parents say they denounce the governor’s extreme criminal carry law and his out of touch stance on gun violence prevention.”
  • GNN Anchor: “No response yet from Kemp’s campaign.”

95.5 WSB — Atlanta Radio:

  • 95.5 WSB Anchor: “Here in Georgia, a group of parents are calling on Governor Kemp to return some donations made to his campaign.”
  • 95.5 WSB Anchor: “Atlanta mom Stefanie Ramirez Sparks is among the parents calling for a repeal of the “Constitutional Carry” law, telling me it hit her really hard as she left her daughter at a school awards ceremony the day after the Uvalde shooting.”
  • Stefanie Ramriez Sparks: “She asked me if she was safe at school, and I could not honestly answer that she was, and that’s a problem in Georgia.”
  • 95.5 WSB Anchor: “The group also wants Kemp to return campaign donations from the gun manufacturer Daniel Defense.”
  • 95.5 WSB Anchor: “The Kemp campaign has not responded to my request for comment.”

Georgia Recorder: Shootings hot topic in Columbus during state’s school safety conference

  • At a Thursday event promoted by the Democratic Party of Georgia, parents gathered to condemn Kemp’s gun policies and call on him to return $50,000 in campaign funds from Daniel Defense, the Savannah-area company that manufactured the rifle used in Uvalde, and Democrats like gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have accused Kemp of using issues like mental health and school safety as a smokescreen to avoid talking about gun safety regulations.
  • This April, Kemp signed a bill designed to loosen restrictions on concealed weapons.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s The Jolt:

  • A group of parents gathered Thursday to call on Gov. Brian Kemp to return more than $50,000 in campaign funds he received from the chief executive of Daniel Defense, the Bryan County-based gun maker that manufactured the AR-15 used in the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
  • Our colleague Maya Prabhu reports that CEO Marty Daniel donated at least $50,200 to Kemp during his 2018 and 2022 campaigns. That includes a $25,000 contribution in March to a newly created leadership committee that can accept unlimited donations.
  • At a press conference organized by the Democratic Party of Georgia, parents slammed the bill Kemp signed earlier this year that eliminated the license required to carry a concealed weapon in Georgia. Federal background checks are still required when guns are purchased from a retailer.
  • The press conference came a week after Stacey Abrams released an ad criticizing Kemp for accepting the Marty Daniel donations.

Associated Press: Kemp pushes on school safety; Abrams seeks officer pay hikes

  • Democrats again slammed Kemp on Thursday for repealing Georgia’s former requirement for a permit and separate state background check to carry a handgun in public.
  • “In a state where gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children and teens, Gov. Kemp is moving us in the wrong direction on gun safety,” Valerie Calhoun said. “And that makes me worried every time I drop my kids off at school.”

UNIVISION Atlanta: “Devuelva el dinero”: piden a Kemp que devuelva los miles donados por la compañía que fabricó el rifle usado en el tiroteo en Uvalde


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