Lt. Governor Casey Cagle probably realized he didn’t say the best thing possible to cement his lead in the Georgia GOP gubernatorial primary. You see, Georgia is a very pro-gun state. We had a lot of gun control at one time–holdovers from a more racist era, truth be told–but we’ve been fighting to repeal those last vestiges of Jim Crow. It’s something near and dear to the hearts of many Georgians.
In other words, if you want to be governor, you probably need to oppose gun control.
However, Cagle mentioned during an interview about his opposition to constitutional carry. That was…not smart. Cagle has been involved in Georgia politics long enough that he should know better.
Still, it seems he has at least learned the error of his ways.
Days after Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told a news station he opposed a “constitutional carry” law, his campaign sent out a lengthy statement to supporters that he supports the law that would let gun owners conceal and carry handguns without a permit.
The Republican’s campaign won’t say he misspoke when he told 11Alive’s Doug Richards that he was against the policy. Instead, it said it wants to clarify “inaccurate information” on social media about his stance.
In a lengthy statement issued by his campaign manager, Cagle said he backs constitutional carry but wants an “effective process” to prevent convicted felons, people in the country illegally and mentally ill gun owners from carrying weapons.
He also wants to keep an optional permit in place for people who want to travel out of state with their weapons.
Cagle and his rivals for the GOP nomination for governor have feuded for months over their pro-gun chops, but the heat is intensifying as the May 22 primary approaches. The latest AJC poll shows Cagle has a commanding lead over his rivals and a tight race for the second spot in a likely July runoff.
Now, let’s take a good look at what Cagle specifically said in that interview.
“Georgia is in a very good position where our gun laws stand today,” Cagle said, adding he knows of no areas where gun rights need to be expanded in the state.
That doesn’t sound like a misspoken position. That sounds like a politician who thought guns were a non-issue in the state and found out that he was wrong.
For Georgia voters, that leaves two possibilities: one, you can trust that Cagle will support the Second Amendment as governor, which is what the NRA is banking on since they’ve endorsed Cagle, or you can pick another candidate who you feel makes your right to keep and bear arms a priority. I’m not sure anyone has impressed me enough on that score. Not yet, anyway.
As for Cagle, I’m sure he’ll make sure not to “misspeak” in any further interviews on gun rights. It’s potentially very costly to a candidate in the GOP primary to oppose any expansion of our Second Amendment rights.