By: José Niño
Second Amendment supporters in Georgia believe the Georgia General Assembly will scrap the permit requirement for carrying a concealed weapon in 2022.
In the last few years, Constitutional Carry legislation has been proposed. Traditionally, it had been championed by former State Representative Matt Gurtler. Although Gurtler is no longer in office, the push for Constitutional Carry is still there.
Back on the campaign trail in 2018, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) vowed to support Constitutional Carry. This legislation was not passed in 2021, however, despite State Representative Emory Dunahoo introducing one iteration of Constitutional Carry earlier this year.
“I know Gov. Kemp had run on ‘constitutional carry,'” Dunahoo declared in an interview on December 21, 2021. “But with him doing other things, I think he’s had to change priorities.”
Kemp is currently facing a Republican primary challenger in former David Perdue. The former member of the U.S. Senate has been boasting his pro-Second Amendment bona fides, posting pictures of himself visiting gun stores and endorsing legislation like Dunahoo’s. Kemp has promised to work with members of the Georgia General Assembly to pass Constitutional Carry.
It means “basically that you’re not going in to buy a permit that’s going to cost you $75 every five years,” Dunahoo said. “It gives you the opportunity as a law-abiding citizen to carry openly.”
So far, 21 states have enacted Constitutional Carry.
The passage of Constitutional Carry may not go on fully partisan lines. According to 11 Alive, the majority of Democrats are joined by Republican State Representative Bill Hitchens.
“I’m very pro-gun. But I’ve seen the damage they can inflict on many, many occasions. We have to be very careful about our gun laws and who we allow to have them,” Hitchens said during an interview back in January 2020.
Hitchens occupied the role of chairman of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee that prevented Constitutional Carry from advancing to a vote in the House.
Dunahoo is optimistic, though, that an election year may give constitutional carry legs. “And this bill here will hopefully pass this year,” he said.
Georgia is one of America’s most pro-gun states. According to Guns & Ammo magazines Best States for Gun Owners and Best States for Concealed Carry rankings, George is ranked in 11th and 14th place, respectively.
Passing Constitutional Carry would consolidate Georgia’s pro-Second Amendment image. Passing it will, however, require work, given how Republicans like Bill Hitchens will do everything possible to oppose this legislation.
With adequate grassroots pressure, though, this obstacle is surmountable.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at email@example.com. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.