As a Georgia resident, I’ve been pleased with how we’ve managed to get back many of our rights in recent years. However, despite the pro-gun consensus in much of the state, it seems they haven’t progressed as far as I think they probably should have. After all, this is the pro-gun South. Why are we still requiring a permit when so many other states have gone with constitutional carry.

Then today, I get a press release from GOP gubernatorial candidate and state senator Michael Williams that seems to suggest an answer.

WILLIAMS SLAMS CAGLE FOR OPPOSING CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

April 24, 2018 – Conservative businessman and Republican candidate for governor, Senator Michael Williams released the following statement on Casey Cagle’s opposition to Constitutional Carry. Yesterday, Cagle shockingly admitted to 11Alive News that he opposes Constitutional Carry and any other legislation that expands gun rights in Georgia.

“It seems every day another one of my fake conservative opponents slips up and tells the truth. Just one week after duping the NRA into believing he supported gun rights, Casey finally admitted he opposes Constitutional Carry, a basic gun right provided by the Constitution. Regular Georgians don’t have taxpayer funded armed security guards by our side every day like Casey. The 2nd Amendment is our security. When I’m governor, I will sign Constitutional Carry into law, expand gun rights, and allow law-abiding citizens to use their constitutional rights without government intrusion or permission.”

Yesterday, Casey Cagle told 11Alive’s Doug Richards that he opposes Constitutional Carry and that he doesn’t know any areas where gun rights need to be expanded in Georgia. You can read the interview HERE.

Republican Senator Michael Williams has co-sponsored and authored Constitutional Carry legislation in the Georgia State Senate multiple times over the last 4 years.

Sure enough, Cagle says exactly that.

In fact, he specifically states his opposition to constitutional carry (emphasis mine).

But Cagle also said he’s not in favor of “constitutional carry” proposals that would allow legal gun owners to conceal and carry handguns without a permit.

A bill to eliminate carry permits got no traction in the 2018 session of the legislature.

“Georgia is in a very good position where our gun laws stand today,” Cagle said, adding he knows of no areas where gun rights need to be expanded in the state.

Cagle, our current Lt. Governor, is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination at this time. However, this comment is a real problem for me.

We don’t need a permit to exercise our First Amendment rights. I can stand on a public street corner and say whatever I want without a permit. While permits are required for large protests, that has more to do with logistics than trying to limit speech in any way.

I don’t need a permit to exercise my right to not incriminate myself in a court of law. I simply exercise the right.

That’s the thing about rights. They’re rights. You don’t need permission to exercise them.

But the Second Amendment is clearly about the right to keep and bear arms. Why must I beg for government permission to carry a handgun? Georgia is a permissive open carry state; you need a permit to carry either concealed or openly, so it goes expressly against the Second Amendment to require permits for the carry of a handgun.

So no, Lt. Governor Cagle, Georgia is not in a very good position where our gun laws stand. It’s in a better position than it was a decade ago, but there’s still work to be done, and as a Georgia voter, I have to say that if you’re unwilling to help us get there, I’m sure one of the other candidates you’re running against will be happy to oblige us.