Governor Kemp and Mayor Keisha Bottoms spar over Georgia’s gun laws in crime debate

Tuesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during her news conference that something has to change regarding Georgia’s “lax” gun laws. “In Georgia, we have some of the most lax gun laws in the country, anywhere in the country,” the mayor said, Tuesday. The Mayor made her comments after announcing Rodney Bryant would be named to Atlanta Police Chief on […]

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp on Thursday, Aug. 13, said he’s dropping a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta in a dispute over the city’s requirement to wear masks in public and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photos: Associated Press and CNN)
Tuesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during her news conference that something has to change regarding Georgia’s “lax” gun laws.

“In Georgia, we have some of the most lax gun laws in the country, anywhere in the country,” the mayor said, Tuesday.
The Mayor made her comments after announcing Rodney Bryant would be named to Atlanta Police Chief on a permanent basis. Bottoms said Atlanta’s problems with crime is due to the proliferation of guns on the streets and too many people with disregard for human life.
Moreover, Bottoms has called for the state to address the loopholes by strengthening background checks and a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban.
“I think a byproduct of that will be that people who should not have guns in their possession, it makes it more difficult to get guns in their possession,” Bottoms said.
She’d later say the state has the burden to get tougher on gun laws, “until that happens I am so sad to say that this is likely not that last time I’ll stand here.”
To that end, House Bill 218 passed in the Georgia Senate 34-18 on March 30th. The measure would relax current Georgia law to allow anyone from any state that has a concealed weapons permit to carry their gun in Georgia. Before now, that privilege was only extended to residents of states that recognized Georgia’s law.
If and when Governor Brian P. Kemp signs it, House Bill 2018 would expand prohibitions against seizing firearms during a state of emergency to say government officials can’t prohibit the manufacture or sale of guns during an emergency, can’t refuse to accept weapons carry license applications if courthouses are open, can’t suspend or revoke weapons licenses. Also, officials also wouldn’t be allowed to limit operating hours of gun stores, gun makers, or shooting ranges unless every business in an area is subject to the same operating restrictions.

Wednesday, Kemp responded to the Mayor’s claims, calling them, ‘ridiculous.’

“Well I mean, that’s ridiculous, that has nothing to do with the problems we are seeing in Atlanta. The gun laws that are on the books are no different than they were in previous administrations and we weren’t seeing these kinds of issues,” Kemp said.

There are nineteen states in America that allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Georgia is not one of them.

Persons also need a Georgia Weapons Carry License to openly carry a handgun in the state. Georgia does allow for people to openly carry long guns.
However, both Governor Kemp and Mayor Bottoms agree on the promotion of Rodney Bryant to full-time police chief. Kemp punted back to Bottoms when asked what the state can do to curb crime in Atlanta.
“The state’s only got so many resources. There’s more Atlanta police than the entire state patrol, and we’ve got to police the whole state, help all the local communities. And we’re doing what we can, but it’s going to be up to locals to do more,” Kemp said.
According to a study by the Atlanta Police Department, 157 people were killed in Atlanta in 2020, the most in more than two decades. Since then, Atlanta police have investigated 37 more homicides as murders surged by about 60% through the first three months of 2021, records show.



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