Group calls on Kemp to return gun maker's campaign contribution, roll back 'Constitutional Carry'

A group of Georgia parents wants Governor Brian Kemp to return more than $50,000 back to the CEO of a gun maker.

They claim the Kemp campaign received money from Daniel Defense. The company manufactured one of the guns found on Salvador Ramos following the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas last month. A total of 19 students and two teachers were killed. Ramos was also killed at the school by a Border Patrol team.

Ramos made the legal purchases just days after turning 18, the minimum age under federal law for buying a rifle. He also purchased several hundred rounds of ammunition. One of the rifles was a DDM4, made by Daniel Defense and modeled after the U.S. military’s M4 carbine rifle, though without the M4′s ability to switch to fully automatic or fire a three-round burst.

"At a time when guns are the leading cause of death for children in the state of Georgia, Brian Kemp accepting campaign cash from the maker of the Uvalde AR-15 is tone deaf and he should return the campaign contributions he took from Daniel Defense and its CEO immediately," Stephanie Clark, mother of two.

Image 1 of 5

Parents called on Gov. Brian Kemp to return campaign money from a gun manufacturer during a rally on June 23, 2022. (FOX 5)

The parents also admonished the governor’s support for Georgia’s newly passed "Constitutional Carry" law. Some blame a primary challenge from Trump-backed former Senator David Perdue for pushing him too far right of what they said is the average Georgian’s views on guns.

"Our governor should put our safety first before an election campaign and stop risking our lives and our children’s lives with extreme laws that only push our country’s dangerous gun culture even further," said mother Anne Roberts.

The left has been hitting Kemp hard on guns the past month. The One Georgia PAC and Stacey Abrams’ campaign have been releasing commercial that blasts Kemp’s gun position in the wake of the Uvalde massacre and other mass shootings across the country. Hoping to stir up old trouble, the clip from a 2016 Kemp campaign advertisement showing his portrayal of the "father with a shotgun" cliché has resurfaced. The political advertisement was played for a "wink and a nod" to his base then, but the Abrams camp are hoping the joke is just not funny this time around for voters.

The gun debate in Georgia came as a national debate was being fanned. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people legally armed. The decision came out as Congress and states debate gun-control legislation.

About one-quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling, which struck down a New York gun law. The high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade split the court 6-3, with the court’s conservatives in the majority and liberals in dissent.

Across the street from the court, lawmakers at the Capitol sped toward passage of gun legislation prompted by recent massacres in Texas, New York and California. Senators cleared the way for the measure, modest in scope but still the most far-reaching in decades.

Also Thursday, underscoring the nation’s deep divisions over the issue, the sister of a 9-year-old girl killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, pleaded with state lawmakers to pass gun legislation. The Republican-controlled legislature has stripped away gun restrictions over the past decade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report