Ga. GOP Governor Candidates Jockey To Denounce Discrimination Against Gun Business

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, left, and Secretary of State Brian Kemp – both vying to be the Republican nominee in the Georgia governor’s race – responded about an issue facing a Georgia gun manufacturer.

John Amis Photos / Associated Press

Honor Defense Firearms has been having trouble getting paid for its guns.

The gun manufacturer in Gainesville, Georgia, has become a hot topic for both Republican candidates for governor. Its struggle has become the latest bid to win the hearts of gun-rights advocates before the July runoff election.

Honor Defense President Gary Ramey said the latest problem started in April, with the financial software company Intuit.

“We received a letter from Intuit saying you are not allowed to keystroke in a credit card charge,” Ramey said.

Intuit told Honor Defense it only processes payments for guns if the sales are in person. Ramey doesn’t think that makes sense because he’s not a retailer. He only sells to federally licensed dealers. But Intuit wouldn’t budge on the policy, so he filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s office.

“All we were looking for was for the attorney general to at least send them a letter and say, ‘Please be aware. There is a law in Georgia…’” Ramey said.

A law passed in 2017 that’s supposed to prevent this kind of thing. The language prohibits financial discrimination against firearms businesses. But the attorney general wrote back saying, sorry, this only applies to banks. And Intuit isn’t a bank.

Ramey is a connected guy in the firearms world. He’s a former executive with the Italian gun manufacturer Beretta and worked alongside the National Sports Shooting Foundation to pass that firearms business nondiscrimination law.

So word of the plight got around. wrote an article. Ramey went on the “Gun Talk” radio show. The New York Post ran an article on it, which got retweeted by the National Rifle Association.

By then, Ramey figured he’d reach out to the Republican candidates for governor “to say, ‘Hey, you guys just need to be aware of what’s going on here.’ And they both responded very quickly to us.”

Secretary of State Brian Kemp was the first to issue a press release saying he was “incredibly bothered” and called for an update to the law.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle fired off his release the next day, saying basically the same thing. Then he followed up with an in-person tour of Honor Defense on Tuesday.

Before the primary, Cagle was endorsed by the NRA following his threats to cut tax benefits to Delta after the airline was one of several travel companies to rescind discounted fares to NRA members.

Kemp made headlines in May because of a campaign ad in which he jokingly appears as an overbearing father threatening his daughter’s potential date with a shotgun. He’s been endorsed by the vocal state gun-rights advocacy group, Georgia Carry.

They face each other in a runoff on July 24.