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Leaders react to Gov. Kemp's proposal to loosen public handgun restrictions

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 23:08:34-05

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that he wants to do away with the need for a license to carry a handgun in public.

"I believe the United States Constitution grants the citizens of our state the right to carry a firearm without state government approval," Kemp said.

Gov. Kemp said he wants to give people in Georgia the option of carrying a gun in public without the need for a permit.

Right now, people without a permit can only carry their weapons in their cars, homes, businesses and property.

Jerry Henry supports the idea but said that the only thing it'll really do is it'll save the average citizen $7 a year on their permit.

Henry is the Executive Director of the Georgia Carry nonprofit and added if you're able to carry with a permit you should be able to carry without it.

"All it's going to do is help the people that are legally able to carry guns," Henry told ABC 27. "You have to remember only the criminals that's going to carry guns and he doesn't need a permit to carry it so if he doesn't need one why do law-abiding citizens need one."

However, the Moms Against Violence organization thinks differently.

In a statement posted in their Facebook group they wrote:

"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."
Moms Against Violence

Meanwhile, Gov. Kemp said that citizens should be able to exercise their constitutional rights.

"In the face of rising violent crimes across the country law-abiding citizens should have their constitutional rights protected not undermined," Gov. Kemp said.

In what's sure to be a battle among state lawmakers in the weeks to come.