AUGUSTA Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is taking another look at the state’s gun laws, his new proposal would make carrying a gun openly a bit easier in the Peach State.
“I think it’ll protect people,” said David Garland.
“These criminals will think twice, when you’re packing the big iron,” said Benjamin Wallace.
“I think that’s awful,” said Latrina Flowers.
“I think you should have a permit to carry whether it’s concealed or out in the open,” said one man who didn’t want to release his name.
The Augusta community is divided when it comes to the Governor’s push for more relaxed gun laws. He says he’s looking to back legislation that would do away with requirements currently in place to carry a handgun.
“I don’t quite agree with that,” said Robert Becsey, who’s licensed to carry in the state of Georgia.
The legislation would allow for eligible Georgians to carry their guns in the open without a permit. The Governor says one of the main reasons he’s pushing for this legislation is because of an increase in violence that’s hit the state. Some people I spoke with disagree with the Governor.
“That’s almost the opposite of what he’s saying. If you’re trying to reduce to be able to get a permit or your don’t even have to have a permit how’s that’s going to reduce the violence,” said Harold Creel, who’s also licensed to carry in the state of Georgia.
While other Augustans say it’s not the gun that’s the problem.
“It comes down to education. A gun is not going to shoot a bullet unless someone pulls the trigger,” said Benjamin Wallace, who works at a gun shop in Augusta.
Others agree saying mandatory courses and licensing can go a long way to helping gun owners learn how this new legislation would work.
“I think that’s probably the safest way to go about doing it, because they teach you about the law,” said Brock Baker, who’s been licensed to carry for eight years.
Regardless of either opinion, we’ve hit a violent month in Augusta. Just last month there was a reported 35 aggravated assault cases involving a gun. Back in 2019- before the pandemic, there were only 18 reported cases, and some city leaders pointed to the very gun laws the Governor is pushing as part of the problem.
“I think we need to look at our gun laws and how these people are getting these guns. if the gun is still on the streets, that’s what’s causing these killings,” said Commissioner Francine Scott.