Georgia governor offers mostly vague support for gun rights

(Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

The state of Georgia, if it had a consciousness of its own, would likely think of itself as a pro-gun state. After all, people here like our firearms and gun control measures haven’t gained a whole lot of traction in recent decades.

However, in recent years, pro-gun legislation hasn’t exactly gone a whole lot farther. For a state that likes its guns, there hasn’t been nearly enough positive news out of the state.

Now, Gov. Brian Kemp is looking to buff up on his Second Amendment credentials in the face of a primary challenge by reiterating his support for gun rights.

Facing an unusual challenge from fellow Republicans in his bid for a second term, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday he will push for a new state law that would loosen requirements to carry a handgun in public.

Kemp made the announcement at a gun shop in the Atlanta-area city of Smyrna that bills itself as the “world’s largest gun store,” where he was joined by members of the National Rifle Association and state lawmakers.

Kemp did not lay out specific changes he was seeking but expressed support for what gun rights advocates call “constitutional carry.” Multiple bills purporting to advance that idea in the state Legislature would do away with the need for a license to carry a handgun in public — either openly or concealed on one’s body. The current license requirement includes a background check.

Besides support for constitutional carry, Kemp offered little else of a concrete nature, just vague assurances. That’s unlikely to really make much of a difference with those most critical of Kemp, particularly over what they view as his refusal to help President Trump after the election.

Don’t get me wrong, constitutional carry is big, and we’ve been in desperate need of it in this state for years now. There’s no good reason we don’t already have it, either.

The problem is that there’s nothing else really there besides some vague promises. That’s not likely to be enough for some.

Unsurprisingly, the leading Democratic candidate had to open her mouth about this:

The move drew condemnation from gun safety advocates and the campaign of Kemp’s likely Democratic opponent in this year’s governor’s race, Stacey Abrams.

Kemp emphasized his support for the 2nd Amendment during his first campaign for governor, appearing in multiple ads with shotguns, including one in which he brandished a shotgun at an actor playing a suitor of one of his daughters.

“The same guy who pointed a gun at a teenager on TV now panders with reckless proposals threatening Georgia lives,” Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said in a tweet. “As her opponents run to dangerous extremes and fight desperately to salvage their political careers, @staceyabrams is fighting for Georgians and their safety.”

Stacey Abrams is fighting for her own political advancement and nothing else. She had sour grapes four years ago after she lost and has continued to act like she really won. The fact that she’s running again and hasn’t realized her support for gun control likely hurt her significantly four years ago just tells you that she wasn’t paying lip service to being the real winner, she actually believes it.

Maybe this time around, Georgia can tell her how we really feel about her anti-gun nonsense to the point that she finally gets the picture.