Kemp ready to sign bill allowing gun owners to bypass getting a permit following passage by Senate

ATLANTA — A bill that would allow gun owners to bypass getting a permit if they want to carry their firearms in public has passed the Georgia Senate and Gov. Brian Kemp said he is ready to sign it into law. The bill passed Friday.

Once signed, the new law would still require federal background checks on gun sales through licensed gun dealers.

In a tweet, Kemp said he’s looking forward to signing the bill “and fulfilling another promise I made to the voters of this state.”

Republican lawmakers praised the bill, saying it’s all about preserving the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

“I think we’ve been hearing from a lot of law-abiding citizens all across metro Atlanta and rural Georgia just about being able to defend themselves, and I think this is a considerable step to allow families and individuals from all across Georgia to be able to do that without any kind of government interference,” said State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas).

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Democrats tried to stop the bill by tacking on an amendment that would have expanded federal background checks to include private sales including gun shows and flea markets, but the measure was defeated.

“We’re aware that this sizable loophole exists in our current system in that about a fourth of people who obtain weapons don’t have a background check,” said State Sen. Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek).

There is no word yet on when Kemp plans to sign the bill into law.

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