Stacey Abrams’ Democratic gubernatorial challenge is getting desperate with less than a week to go before election day.
Once again, the Second Amendment and crime issues played a major role in the final debate between Georgia’s two candidates for governor.
Correct the Record
Abrams injected pot shots and misstatements about Georgia’s gun laws while addressing other questions. She criticized Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for “making it easier” for Georgians to obtain firearms and “flooding the streets with guns.” Gov. Kemp took note. Finally, he’d had enough.
“I feel I need the time to address this whole gun, firearm question because she keeps bringing it up,” Gov. Kemp said.
“Let me tell you something – the law right now is the same as it was two years ago about who can lawfully carry a weapon or not. For Ms. Abrams to say that the legislation that we signed to let you protect your family, your businesses through your Second Amendment rights – it’s just absolutely not true.”
Gov. Kemp reiterated the facts about Georgia’s concealed carry law he signed.
“People that illegally can’t carry guns, the law is the same as it was before constitutional carry passed,” he explained. “And I got news for you. The criminals? They don’t care what the laws are. They already got the guns. The problem was law-abiding citizens couldn’t get a dang permit from the local government because governments were shut down, they were slow-playing the permitting process.”
He added, “All I’m doing is giving people the ability – if they would like to – to conceal carry to protect themselves, their property and their families. The record shows Ms. Abrams when she was in the general assembly, she co-sponsored legislation to confiscate your guns.”
It’s true. As a state legislator, Abrams pushed for strict gun control laws, including enacting statewide universal background checks for private firearm transfers, instituting waiting periods for firearm purchases and imposing “red flag” laws lacking Due Process rights protections. She supports banning modern sporting rifles (MSRs), what she erroneously terms “assault weapons,” which would ban more than 24.4 million lawful commonly-owned rifles in circulation today.
Abrams even tried to secure the spot as President Joe Biden’s vice president after auditioning during his gun control Veepstakes. She describes her proposals and record as “obvious and the common-sense gun safety rules that do not infringe upon anyone’s ability to carry.”
During the debate, Abrams conflated criminal gun violence perpetrated by those who ignore Georgia gun laws with lawful firearm ownership.
“Under the past four years of the governor, gun violence has gone up… Guns are the number one killer of our children,” Abrams said. “And his response was to weaken gun laws in the state of Georgia and eliminate a background check. A background check that kept thousands of guns off of our streets and out of the hands of dangerous people.”
The statement is flawed in many ways. For starters, NSSF has thoroughly debunked the talking point used by Abrams and others on children and gun deaths. The study includes adults, aged 18 and 19, who are fully-vested in their Constitutional rights. When adults are removed, the number one cause of death for children aged 0-17 becomes vehicle accidents, as it has historically been.
Gov. Kemp did not remove a background check for Georgians to purchase a firearm. Anyone purchasing a gun at retail, from a firearm retailer, is required to submit and pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification. That’s federal law.
Abrams also refuses to acknowledge that criminals don’t submit to background checks. A U.S. Sentencing Commission report shows nearly 90 percent of all firearms used by convicted firearm criminals were obtained illegally, through the black market, theft or other illicit means.
It’s the Crime, Stupid.
Polls show crime is at the top of voters’ minds. National gun control groups are spending heavily and telling law-abiding voters the opposite, that they need to give up their rights. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has made his position clear.
“I would say again just look at my record… I was the candidate that ran on a platform to go after the street gangs, criminals and drug cartels,” the governor said. “We’ve also been in the fight with local DAs, providing more resources when we’ve had civil unrest, unruly people who were literally trying to burn down our capital city… and quite frankly some local prosecutors who didn’t want to go after the gangs.”
When law-abiding Georgians felt unsafe due to violent and destructive riots in their cities, and soft-on-crime prosecutors, they responded by lawfully buying firearms. All told, more than 1.4 million Georgians legally purchased a firearm since 2020, according to NSSF-adjusted NICS data.
Gov. Kemp reminded undecided Georgians who care about their rights and safety they have a clear choice in one week. A #GUNVOTE for Gov. Kemp would protect their Second Amendment rights. A vote for Abrams would risk them.