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Guns, public safety quickly become key issues in Georgia governor’s race

Kemp links Abrams to defund the police movement; Abrams calls for $50K base for state patrol, correctional officers
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 3:30 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Public safety and gun legislation rose dramatically to the forefront of Georgia’s nationally watched governor’s race on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Brian Kemp unveiled a new round of television ads, linking Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams to earlier statements seemingly indicating her support of defunding police departments.

Kemp’s campaign also repeated calls on Abrams to resign from the governing board of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. The Kemp campaign called the group “radical” for posting a message that included the message “defund the police” in a March Twitter post.

The group has paid Abrams at least $52,000 to date, according to financial disclosures, the Kemp campaign said.

On Thursday, two days after her slate of endorsed candidates swept their statewide Democratic runoffs, Abrams released another part of her plan that, she said, would “strengthen public safety, address violent crime and reform criminal justice in Georgia.”

Abrams’ is calling for a $50,000 annual base salary for state patrol, adult and juvenile correctional officers and community supervision officers. Last week, Abrams released her plan’s first pillar which, she said, focuses on reducing gun violence, decriminalizing poverty, decreasing recidivism and supporting societal reentry after prison.

Also on Thursday, a group of parents joined by Democratic Party of Georgia members, gathered at a downtown Atlanta park to call on Kemp to return more than $50,000 they say his campaign received from Daniel Defense and its CEO.

Parents demand Kemp return funds from school shooting gun manufacturer

Daniel Defense in southeast Georgia is the manufacturer of the gun that was used in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

The group also denounced Kemp’s signing of Georgia’s new law that allows lawful weapons carriers to carry a concealed handgun without needing a state weapons license.

The issue of gun legislation also made headlines nationally on Thursday. According to CBS News, U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that placed strict restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public for self defense. In a 6-3 ruling, the court found the law’s requirement that applicants seeking a concealed carry license demonstrate a special need for self-defense is unconstitutional.