As Voting Starts in Georgia, Gun Groups Rally for Senate Race
With control of the U.S. Senate on the line in January, national attention has turned to the Peachtree State, and groups on both sides of the gun rights debate are pouring on the pressure.
The nominally pro-gun Republican party has controlled the Senate for six years and when the smoke cleared on last month's national election still maintained 50 seats. This left Democrats and those who caucus with them holding 48 seats with two remaining races headed to a January run-off. Those seats, currently held by Georgia Republicans who didn't secure enough of a lead to clinch the election, could swing polarity of the chamber to the Dems if they were to pick them up, with a potential Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast tie-breaking votes once in office. That, coupled with Democrat control of the House of Representatives, would lead to single-party control of the federal government.
Anti-gun groups would love that to happen.
Bloomberg-backed Everytown spent more than $4.2 million in Georgia this cycle, including a whopping $3 million to support U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath-- a former Everytown employee--in Georgia’s 6th U.S. Congressional district. The group has doubled down to support Democrat candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in their respective Senate races. Both Ossoff and Warnock also have the endorsement of Giffords and the Brady Center.
Ossoff, a journalist and former staffer for a Democratic Congressman, has the suppressio veri "I support the Second Amendment" statement on his campaign website, then quickly says he intends to work towards universal background checks and so-called "red flag" laws. He also wants to outlaw popular semi-automatic firearms.
"I support a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles ('assault weapons') and high-capacity magazines to the general public," said Ossoff unambiguously.
Warnock, pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, while having a slate of progressive priorities including addressing climate change, immigration, and reproductive rights, largely steers away from the subject of gun control in his platform. Nonetheless, he has been outspoken on his support for more gun control on numerous past occasions going back to 2014. Giffords calls him, "an ardent supporter of commonsense gun safety policies like universal background checks," in their endorsement of the pastor.
On the other side of the spectrum, pro-gun groups to include Gun Owners of America and the NRA are supporting incumbent U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who beat out Warnock and Ossoff respectively in November at the polls but didn't secure a majority victory.
"If both Democrats win, these anti-gunners will control the Senate and the House," warns GOA in a statement. "Using the Presidency, Democrats would be able to wreak havoc on the Second Amendment; and your right to defend yourself will cease to exist as you know it."
The trade organization for the American gun industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, holds that Georgia’s runoff elections are a national affair.
"If both Ossoff and Rev. Warnock win, it will guarantee a Biden-Harris administration will be able to move on their radical antigun agenda," said Larry Keane, NSSF's senior vice president for government and public affairs, assistant secretary and general counsel. "That agenda includes demolishing the entire firearm industry, imposing confiscation and bans on modern sporting rifles, instituting gun registration schemes, and more. Two votes stand in the way of Sen. Chuck Schumer from making good on his promise to take Georgia and then 'we change America.' Those votes belonging to Senators Perdue and Loeffler."
Colion Noir opines on the importance of the Senate race in Georgia for gun owners in the below video, which includes clips of the candidates in their own words.