The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Georgia House of Representative voted to pass SB319, dangerous permitless carry legislation to eliminate the state’s permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. The bill will now head to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s desk where he will have 40 days to veto or sign it into law.
“Shame on our lawmakers for putting politics over public safety,” said Courtney Spriggs, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “They have failed to do their jobs and they have failed to keep us safe — all to win favor with extremists. They can try to ignore the deadly consequences of their political games, but we’ll make sure they’re held accountable for the violence they’re enabling.”
Earlier this year, Governor Kemp announced his support for permitless carry in a press call shortly after Senator Perdue voiced his support for the legislation. The two will face off in the Republican Gubernatorial primary later this year. But permitless carry legislation is unpopular among Georgians; according to polling from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, nearly 70% of Georgia voters oppose permitless carry.
Across the country, law enforcement and other key public safety stakeholders have spoken out in staunch opposition to similar legislation. If passed into law, permitless carry will make it more difficult and more dangerous for law enforcement to maintain public safety. States that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced an 11 percent increase
in handgun homicide rates and a 13–15 percent increase in violent crime rates. More information about the dangers of permitless carry is available here.
In an average year, more than 6,000 Georgians are already shot and killed or wounded. The permitting system is Georgia’s last remaining foundational gun safety law, and removing it is a dangerous idea that could open the floodgates to even more gun violence in the state. More information about gun violence in Georgia is available here.