Politics & Policy

Raphael Warnock Mocks Georgia Gun Law in Newly Unearthed Sermon

Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks during an Election Night event in Atlanta, Ga., November 3, 2020. (Jessica McGowan/Pool via Reuters)

Reverend Raphael Warnock, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia, criticized the state’s gun laws in a newly unearthed 2014 sermon.

“I had to go to the Capitol yesterday because they decided what we really need is more guns and more access to guns by more people in more places,” said Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. “So, somebody decided that they had the bright idea to pass a piece of legislation that would allow guns and concealed weapons to be carried in churches.”

“Have you ever been to a church meeting? That’s the last place—” he said, before being interrupted by laughter from the audience.

He added, “Whoever thought of that had never been to a church meeting.”

Warnock was apparently referencing what critics dubbed the “guns everywhere” bill, which was approved by the Republican-controlled Georgia Central Assembly and later signed into law by then-Governor Nathan Deal in April 2014.

The measure allows Georgia residents to carry guns into bars without restriction and in some school classrooms and government buildings under certain circumstances. It also gives religious leaders the ability to “opt in” to allow guns on their worship premises.

The National Rifle Association shared the clip on Twitter on Monday, saying, “Newly found video shows Georgia Senate candidate @ReverendWarnock LAUGHING at church-goers who defend themselves with guns.”

The NRA’s video includes footage from a 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Tx. in which a gunman killed 26 people before being stopped by an armed parishioner. The parishioner shot the gunman, who fled.

“Rev. Warnock, Law-abiding Americans defending themselves is no laughing matter,” the video said.

“First Warnock goes after our veterans, now our Second Amendment,” the tweet adds. “Georgians have a clear choice Jan. 5!”

Warnock is running against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. The January 5 runoff election is one of two Georgia races that will determine party control of the U.S. Senate.

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