ATLANTA, Ga. (April 13, 2022) – On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill into law legalizing permitless carry of a firearm in the state. The enactment of this so-called “constitutional carry”  bill will also foster an environment more hostile to federal gun control in the state.

A large coalition of Republicans introduced Senate Bill 319 (SB319) on March 29. Under the new law, any Georgian legally eligible for a concealed carry permit can now carry a concealed firearm without a state-issued license. The state will continue to issue CCDW permits for those wishing to carry concealed firearms in states with permit reciprocity with Georgia.

The House passed SB319 by a 100-67 vote. The Senate gave final approval by a 34-22 vote. With Gov. Kemp’s signature, the law went into immediate effect.

“SB 319 makes sure that law-abiding Georgians — law-abiding Georgians, including our daughters and your family, too — to protect themselves without having to have permission from your state government,” Kemp said at the bill signing ceremony.

EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL

While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.

The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions such as passing “constitutional carry” lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourage a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.

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