Early voting in Georgia’s primary elections kicks off today ahead of the official primary day on May 24th, and Democrat Stacey Abrams, who’s running unopposed for her party’s nomination, is already signaling that she plans on making Constitutional Carry an issue in the general election, where she’s likely to take on incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.
Recent polling in the state shows Kemp’s lead over his primary opponents, including Trump-endorsed former U.S. Senator David Perdue, growing so large that he may be able to win the primary outright with more than 50% of the vote, which would allow him to avoid an expensive and potentially bruising runoff. Kemp, who signed Constitutional Carry into law just a few weeks ago, is also comfortably ahead of Abrams in head-to-head polling, but Abrams is hoping to change those numbers by running on repealing the new law if elected.
Crowds gathered at a campaign event in Savannah for democratic candidate Stacey Abrams Saturday.
Abrams said this one was one of many stops she plans on making to the Coastal Empire ahead of election day.
“Coastal Georgia is not the same as Atlanta. I know that Decatur is not the same as Buckhead. But I believe we need a governor who sees all of us and serves all of us and believes in all of us and that is why I’m running,” Stacey Abrams, Democratic Candidate for Georgia Governor said.
… “I’m running because I want to expand Medicaid and bring 3.5 billion dollars to the state of Georgia,” Abrams said.
Abrams also speaking out on recent state gun legislation allowing gun owners to carry a firearm without a permit amid a slew of recent shootings in the Coastal Empire.
“It is making people more paranoid about their safety. We should not make concealed carry permits a thing of the past and as the governor of Georgia, I will work with every single person I can to repeal these senseless gun laws we’ve put on the books in the last decade,” Abrams said.
Yeah, about that. The GOP currently has a 103-77 advantage over Democrats in the state House, and the Senate is also home to a 12-seat Republican majority (34-22). The odds of Democrats not only winning the governor’s race but capturing both chambers of the legislature are roughly the same as David Chipman being named the next head of the NRA, which means that while Abrams’ promises to repeal Constitutional Carry are red meat for the Democratic base, she’s not likely to be able to fulfill her pledge if she’s somehow successful in November.
For his part Kemp doesn’t sound like a man afraid to run on the issue.
While at his stop in Sylvester, Kemp also talked about signing the constitutional carry bill into law.
Kemp said it’s a critical issue. He also said he doesn’t believe it will cause crime to go up.
“Well, it’s hard to imagine more crime that what we have around our country right now. This is a public safety issue. This is why people want constitutional carry. You know, everybody that’s got the guns are criminals and bad people. What we need to do is give law-abiding citizens the ability to carry a handgun without a piece of paper from the government. Which they have in the United States constitution with the second amendment. Which is all we have done,” Kemp said.
Kemp said he believes this new law will not drastically change things and instead, help people across the Peach State.
“Background checks still apply just like any time your purchase a firearm. There’s been 20 plus other states that have done this. We’re just simply bringing priority to our citizens in the state of Georgia. Now look, people don’t have to carry if they don’t want to. It just gives them the ability to protect and defend themselves and their property,” Kemp said.
The governor also said he doesn’t think the new law will cause racial profiling by law enforcement.
“I think just the contrary. I think it’s actually gonna help minorities. I mean, I have a lot of minorities that have reached out to me and saying, ‘Thank you for doing this. You know, we’re scared to death in our communities just like other people are and we want to be able to protect and defend ourselves when we’re outside of our homes,’” Kemp said.
Obviously I’m more than a little biased here, but I think Kemp has the much better argument. Abrams’ position is that in order to fight crime we have to place barriers between law-abiding citizens and their constitutionally-protected rights, while Kemp believes that you don’t fight violent crime by making it harder for good people to protect themselves. I know which argument resonates more with me, and based on the current polling, it seems that Kemp has the more appealing position among Georgia voters as well.