Dallas, TX
Thursday, December 1, 2022
English Español


Fine Print

English Español

Georgia Governor Signs ‘Constitutional Carry’ into Law

Featured, National

Firearms | Image by Gagarin Iurii

Donate to Dallas Express to Keep it Free

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law on Tuesday that eliminates the licensing requirement for gun owners to carry firearms in public.

The law, dubbed the “Georgia Constitutional Carry Act,” passed the state legislature with a vote mainly along party lines on April 1.

The act allows residents who can legally purchase a firearm to carry one concealed without a license. The new bill excludes people convicted of a felony or those who have received treatment for certain mental health issues within the past 5 years from being able to carry a firearm.

The law still prohibits guns in airports and secured government buildings. Background checks are not required to purchase a firearm unless from a store or a dealer.

Previously, the application process for a concealed carry license required citizens to pay a $75 fee, submit to a mandatory background check, and undergo educational training on responsibly handling, using, and securely storing firearms.

At a signing ceremony outside a Gable Sporting Goods in Douglasville, Georgia, Kemp said the new law allows Georgians “to protect themselves without having to have permission from your state government.”

“The Constitution of the United States gives us that right, not the government,” Kemp said.

During the signing ceremony, Georgia State Republican Sen. Jason Anavitarte, one of the bill’s sponsors, said that it “was a victory for the safety, security and constitutional rights of hardworking Georgians.”

“This bill is about self-protection and self-empowerment,” said Anavitarte. “It’s about disincentivizing criminals and empowering law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families.”

“This isn’t a bill that’s going to create more crime. This is allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a weapon without a license in Georgia,” he explained.

Georgia is now one of the more than twenty states that allow citizens to carry guns without a permit, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit that focuses on the prevention of gun violence.

Ten states have passed permitless carry laws in just the last 2 years. In March, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a similar bill into law, and Ohio Governor Mark DeWine signed similar legislation, allowing adults to carry a concealed handgun without a license.

On Tuesday, Governor Kemp also signed a second bill that allows individuals licensed in other states to carry in Georgia.

Both bills created controversy in the state legislature. Critics such as Democratic state Rep. Kimberly Alexander said that the new law “will potentially allow individuals with a criminal history who purchase a gun through a private sale to legally carry a hidden, loaded weapon in our communities.”

Georgia Democrats held a counter-rally on Tuesday to protest the legislation. Their Twitter account noted an analysis conducted by GPB News, which found that around 5,300 people were denied concealed carry licenses in 2020, mainly for criminal history.

Georgia Demoncrats argue that the police and the public will now face the danger of some of those people being able to carry guns legally.

“We refuse to accept a Georgia where it’s easier for criminals to carry guns but hard for many Georgians to get health care,” Georgia Democrats wrote. “We must change our leadership in November and defeat Brian Kemp.”

The law also drew criticism from former Senator David Perdue, who is facing Kemp in a gubernatorial election this year. Perdue’s complaint was not aimed at the bill itself, but rather that it took Kemp 4 years to sign it into law.     

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments