Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp (R.) took a shot at his leading primary challenger over gun policy on Friday.
Kemp questioned the sincerity of former Senator David Perdue’s (R.) pledge to support permitless gun-carry, which activists call Constitutional carry, during an exclusive interview on The Weekly Reload Podcast. He said voters prefer somebody who has accomplishments over just promises.
“I think that’s what people want,” Kemp said. “They want a governor that’s got a record of not only saying what they’re going to do but actually doing it when they’re in office, which is what I’ve done. Versus somebody like my opponent who promises everything, goes and does something differently or is a johnny-come-lately to the policy side of this.”
He pointed to his executive order keeping gun stores and ranges open during the pandemic as well as suspending permit renewal requirements as examples of what he’s accomplished on guns. He said he plans to push permitless gun-carry through the legislature this year.
The Perdue campaign fired back at Kemp.
“If Brian Kemp feels so strongly about constitutional carry, why hasn’t he gotten it done?” a Perdue spokesperson told The Reload. “Kemp has had three years to get constitutional carry across the finish line, and he hasn’t delivered. At a time when the woke left is threatening to confiscate our guns and take away our rights, Georgia needs a bold leader who will make waves to get things done – not a 20-year career politician like Kemp.”
Kemp blamed the lack of action on permitless carry under his tenure on the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic. He said the nationwide rioting in 2020 and the rising murder rate would motivate lawmakers to act this session. He also noted he supported the policy years before Perdue.
“Anybody who gets into the governor’s race is now supportive of Constitutional carry,” Kempt said. “I would remind you that I was for it back when I campaigned back in 2017 and 18. I’ve got a strong Second Amendment record.”
He said Perdue didn’t do anything on permitless carry while in the Senate.
“He certainly had six years to take the opportunity to do that,” Kemp said. “So, look, this is the politically correct thing he can do now. I’m not worried about that. I’m running on my record of being a strong Second Amendment supporter.”
Kemp said he was focused on beating Stacey Abrams, the likely Democratic nominee he defeated in the previous gubernatorial election. He argued keeping Abrams out of the governor’s mansion was the most important way to protect Gerorians’ gun rights.
“She would take us in the complete opposite direction,” he said. “My sights are continuing, no pun intended, to be set on her. I know that’s who I’m gonna be facing in the general. We feel good about having the rematch, and I’m the only candidate in the race who can beat her.”
The full interview with Kemp will be available for Reload members on Sunday and will be live for everyone else on Monday. The Republican primary is slated to take place on May 24th. The general election is scheduled for November 8th.