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Georgia Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Governor Kemp’s Announcement on Permitless Carry

January 5, 2022

ATLANTA — The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement criticizing Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and former Senator David Perdue for their support of permitless carry legislation. Governor Kemp announced his support for the policy, which would allow people to carry loaded handguns in public with no background check, at a press conference today. 

“Permitless carry would put law enforcement officers like my husband in even more danger, but apparently, Governor Kemp and David Perdue would rather risk Georgian lives on political games than support law enforcement,” said Courtney Spriggs, a former law enforcement officer and a volunteer leader with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While these politicians are embracing radical policies like permitless carry in a pathetic and dangerous effort to curry favor among gun extremists, we’ll be fighting for laws that would actually prevent gun violence in our communities and make Georgia safer – starting with repealing ‘Stand Your Ground.’”

What to know about permitless carry in Georgia:

  • Permitless carry legislation would allow a person to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check, dismantling Georgia’s culture of responsible gun ownership.
  • Permitless carry laws significantly hinder law enforcement’s ability to prevent people with dangerous histories — including extremists and white supremacists with criminal histories — to carry firearms, putting public safety in jeopardy. 
  • States that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates and an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rates.
  • Permitless carry has been staunchly opposed by law enforcement across the country, including in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

More information about permitless carry is available here.

This past legislative session, lawmakers in Georgia repealed the state’s Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law, which was historically used to publicly dehumanize escaped enslaved people and justify the lynching of Black people. Lawmakers, however, didn’t even schedule hearings for bills that would repeal Georgia’s so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ or ‘Shoot First’ law, which allows people to shoot first and ask questions later, even when they could safely remove themselves from the situation. The laws are associated with more than 150 additional gun deaths nationally every month. In Florida, studies show that homicide rates increased 24 to 45% after the law was enacted in 2005. Additionally, in ‘Shoot First’ states, homicides in which white shooters kill Black victims are deemed justifiable five times more frequently than when the situation is reversed. Mayors across Georgia have called on the state to repeal this deadly law.

More information about ‘Shoot First’ laws is available here.

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