Gun Laws & Legislation

‘Street Gangs Did Not Shoot Six Asian Women’: Abrams Invokes Massage Parlor Shootings In Debate With Kemp


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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams invoked a March 2021 shooting spree in Atlanta during a Monday debate with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, claiming Kemp “flooded” Georgia’s streets with guns.

“Street gangs did not shoot six Asian women,” Abrams said. “Going into a gun store, getting a weapon and murdering women in less than an hour, street gangs aren’t the reason people are getting shot in grocery stores and in parking lots and in schools. Street gangs are one part of the problem, but we have a governor who’s weakened gun laws across the state, flooded our streets with guns by letting dangerous people get access to those weapons.” (RELATED: Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams Won’t Rule Out Gun Confiscation)

A gunman attacked three spas in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, killing eight people, police said. The shooter, Robert Aaron Long, denied the shooting spree was racially motivated.

“Georgia does not have a waiting period, we do not have universal background checks, and one of the few permits that we had that was helping keep us safe, stopped five thousand people who should not have had weapons from getting them, got weakened by this governor with this criminal carry law,” Abrams continued, criticizing Kemp for signing legislation that ended the requirement for a permit to carry a firearm in Georgia.


Abrams’ comments came after Kemp described a plan that used Georgia State Police and other agencies to address surges in crime in some cities. Kemp also called out Abrams over her push for waiting periods and universal background checks.

“You keep going back to guns, Stacey and I think it’s going to be your undoing here in Georgia,” Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Shane Hazel said.

Abrams narrowly lost to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial election but refused to concede the election, alleging voter suppression. She trails Kemp in multiple polls, with the incumbent holding a nine-point lead in a poll from Trafalgar and a seven-point lead in an InsiderAdvantage poll.

The economy is the top issue on the mind of 40% of Georgia voters, according to an Emerson College poll, topping “threats to democracy,” crime, health care and abortion.

“I would just let people at home know, the largest fastest growing segment of the population that is buying handguns and firearms is African Americans and females,” Kemp added later. “You know why? Because the criminals are the only ones that do have the guns. You have local governments that are holding up concealed weapon permits, that are keeping law abiding citizens from being able to simply use their Second Amendment right to protect themselves and their property and their families.”

Kemp also pointed out that federal background checks are run on firearms purchases.

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