SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is set to sign off on Senate Bill 319, commonly known as constitutional carry, Tuesday afternoon, and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson wants the governor to rethink his decision.
Johnson says he and other Georgia mayors are penning an open letter to Kemp asking him not to sign off on the bill.
SB 319 would allow Georgia residents to carry handguns in public without a license or background check, which the mayor says puts residents at risk and creates a loophole for gun safety.
“If this bill becomes law, it simply becomes easier for people with a criminal history to purchase a gun through a private sale to carry a weapon in our community without any background check,” said Johnson.
According to a study by Everytown for Gun Safety, Georgia ranks 15th highest for gun violence and among the lowest, at 36th, for gun law strength, while states with stricter gun laws like California and Hawaii have the lowest gun violence.
Johnson says lawmakers should be trying to make it more difficult to obtain guns, not easier.
“We’re asking the governor to reconsider his position and not sign this harmful legislation,” the mayor pleaded.
Kemp is scheduled to sign SB 319 at 3:30 p.m. in Douglasville. The letter is shown below.
View the mayor’s press conference in full below.