Georgians will no longer need a permit to legally carry a concealed gun in public.
Governor Brian Kemp (R.) signed a permitless carry bill into law on Tuesday. The law allows anyone over 21-years-old to legally concealed carry so long as they are legally allowed to own a gun. It makes Georgia the 25th state to adopt the policy.
“This is about letting lawful people be able to carry their weapon and protect themselves,” Kemp told The Reload in an exclusive February interview.
Georgia’s adoption makes permitless carry, often called “Constitutional carry” by advocates, the dominant way to regulate gun carry in the United States. It represents the culmination of a lightning-fast campaign by gun-rights advocates to liberalize America’s gun-carry laws. Until 2010, only Alaska and Vermont had the policy in place.
Kemp’s signing of the bill is also significant for his reelection campaign. Kemp had promised to get the policy passed into law back when he first ran for governor in 2018. Fulfilling that promise is likely to give him a boost in his primary campaign against former senator David Perdue and a potential general election matchup against Democrat Stacey Abrams.
Abrams has attacked Kemp for supporting the policy. She claimed it was unnecessary and unpopular.
“Brian Kemp knows that his legislation – which he did not seriously advocate until he faced a tough primary challenge – is opposed by 7 in 10 Georgians and would make it easier for many criminals to carry concealed weapons on our streets,” Seth Bringman, a spokesperson for Abrams, told The Reload in February. “The permit system was just fine to him for the first three years he was in office.”
“Obviously, those individuals shouldn’t be allowed to carry,” Kemp responded. “The legislation would prevent that. But when you have people that break the law, they don’t really care about this.”
The law goes into effect immediately.