JEFFERSON, Ga. – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has a novel reason to oppose outlawing the sale of assault rifles.

“People misunderstand oftentimes that assault rifles particularly are there and used oftentimes to protect the farm,” the Republican frontrunner for Georgia Governor said during an interview with 11Alive on his campaign bus Monday.

“It’s true. Mainly hogs,” Cagle said.

Cagle was embarking on a 40-county tour of Georgia where he started in Gainesville, his hometown.

Cagle noted that farmers in south Georgia often face problems with feral hogs destroying cropland and rooting up tree saplings. Feral hogs are legal to hunt, and Cagle says he has used an assault rifle himself to hunt hogs.

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“I’ve actually experienced it,” he said.

Asked if a shotgun or .22 rifle are sufficient to manage feral hog populations on farms, Cagle said: “No, no, no – you can’t manage (them that way), no no. And anybody who tells you that obviously isn’t spending any time on the farm. Nor has ever shot a hog.”

But Cagle also said he’s not in favor of “constitutional carry” proposals that would allow legal gun owners to conceal and carry handguns without a permit.

A bill to eliminate carry permits got no traction in the 2018 session of the legislature.

”Georgia is in a very good position where our gun laws stand today,” Cagle said, adding he knows of no areas where gun rights need to be expanded in the state.

A bill to ban assault rifles also got no traction in the 2018 legislature.

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