Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed a bill into law Tuesday removing the license and background check requirements for gun owners to carry a firearm in public, drawing high praise from gun owners in the state.
Joining supporters outside Gable Sporting Goods in Douglasville on Tuesday, the Republican governor celebrated the new law, saying it will ensure citizens’ rights to protect themselves in public, Fox 5 of Atlanta reported.
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“SB 319 makes sure that law-abiding Georgians — law-abiding Georgians, including our daughters and your family too — can protect themselves without having the permission of the state government. The Constitution of the United States gives us that right, not the government,” Kemp said. “HB 218 ensures that individuals who are licensed to carry in another state are also authorized to do so here in Georgia.”
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Dubbed the “Constitutional Carry Act,” the new law cleared both chambers of the state legislature by the beginning of April, to the high praise of Second Amendment advocates in the state — and across the country.
“This isn’t a bill that’s going to create more crime. This is allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a weapon without a license in Georgia,” said state Sen. Jason Anavitarte, a Republican, Fox 5 reported.
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On Tuesday, Kemp also signed into law legislation that recognizes and accepts other states’ concealed carry permits in Georgia.
Critics swiftly slammed both new laws.
“This legislation will potentially allow individuals with a criminal history who purchase a gun through a private sale to legally carry a hidden, loaded weapon in our communities,” said state Rep. Kimberly Alexander, a Democrat, according to the report.
The bill also drew some criticism from Kemp’s Trump-backed primary gubernatorial opponent, former Sen. David Perdue, who applauded the bill’s signing but criticized Kemp for taking “four years” to get it signed.