ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp signed two bills on Tuesday that eliminated the requirement for a gun permit in Georgia and allows people out of state to carry a firearm in Georgia - if they are licensed in their own state.
"This here mentioned earlier has been a team effort, and I just appreciate all the members, all the advocacy groups, who all hunkered down to get two great bills across the finish line, " Kemp said at Gables Sporting Goods in Douglasville.
The new constitutional carry law allows anyone to carry a firearm in public without a permit unless they're a convicted felon or have a mental illness.
Kemp spoke about the history of the bill and key players who helped make it a reality. He added that he bought his daughter her first gun at Gables and that she was carrying it with her at the event.
"A Glock 43, 9mm, which she is carrying today," Kemp said. "We did that not only because we believe in the Second Amendment but so that Lucy and her sisters, and all Georgians have the right to defend themselves."
Legislators passed the bill on April 1 and have been waiting on Kemp's signature. Kemp also signed H.B. 218, which will allow people out of state to tote their firearm in Georgia, so long as they are licensed to do so in their state.
"I am excited to be here today to sign S.B. 319 and H.B. 218 to help build a safer, stronger Georgia," Kemp said.
State law previously required a license to carry firearms. People needed to fill out an application in probate court, undergo a background check and pay a fee no higher than $75.
Those permits would still be available – and valuable for gun owners who want to carry guns into other states that recognize Georgia permits.