Governor signs bill into law allowing Georgians to carry guns without permits

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — It is now legal for you to carry a concealed gun without a permit in the state of Georgia.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed that bill into law Tuesday afternoon, even though recent polls show this law may not be popular across Georgia.

“I’ll tell you what my wife always tells me. They haven’t called me yet to ask my opinion,” is what Kemp’s answer was to the polls, just minutes after signing the controversial “Constitutional Carry” bill into law.

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The new law makes it legal for people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Republican state lawmakers and gun rights advocates surrounded the governor as he signed it.

Just a few hours earlier, Kemp’s chief rival for the GOP nomination for governor, former Sen. David Perdue, praised the new law, but he insisted he thought of it first and accused Kemp of using the idea for the election.

“I think that’s great. It’s too bad it took four years to get it done, and it’s too bad it took me getting into the race for them getting the energy to get that done,” Perdue said.

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Channel 2′s Richard Elliot asked Kemp why it took so long to pass it when Kemp campaigned on it four years ago.

“Well, you had to get the votes in the legislature. Look, he was in the United States Senate for six years. I don’t ever remember him pushing this bill up there. It’d be great if they did that at the federal level. We wouldn’t have to do it with all the states,” Kemp said.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democrats gathered just two doors down from the sporting goods store where Kemp signed the bill into law.

They oppose the bill, saying it will just lead to more violence.

“The logic that if we put more guns on the street, we put guns in more people’s hands, that there would be less crime is the dumbest thing I ever heard,” said state Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta.

Elliot also reached out to Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign. Her campaign had no comment but deferred to comments made by the Democrats in Douglas County.

Abrams tweeted shortly after the bill signing, saying:

“Kemp knows states that pass #criminalcarry see increases in gun violence. He knows Georgians (Democrats, independents and Republicans) oppose the bill. He knows 5,200+ permits were denied in a single year, for example, because of felony convictions or domestic abuse. He knows the danger. Kemp just doesn’t care.”