A full week of 2020 has gone by and I realized I had yet to write much about my hopes and dreams for gun rights here at Bearing Arms. Federally, I don’t expect anything. We all know the House won’t expand gun rights and the Senate won’t restrict them, so the status quo is as good as we’re going to get.

But in my home state of Georgia, where you folks hold the authority to pass laws, I have actual hopes.

You see, while Georgia is a pro-gun state and there’s little reason to doubt that, I don’t understand why there’s been so much reticence by the General Assembly in recent years to expand those gun rights, particularly since there’s plenty of room to grow on this front.

First and foremost, I know I’m not alone in my desire to see the state of Georgia join the almost 20 states with some form of constitutional carry laws. With nearly half of the states in this country having some form of permitless carry, we’ve had ample opportunity to see if such a measure is a recipe for disaster or not.

So far, there’s been no such indication. In other words, all is well with permitless carry and it’s well beyond time for the great state of Georgia to join their ranks. Permits can still be issued, of course, as reciprocity is still important to a lot of people, myself included, but there’s absolutely no reason we should continue to be required to ask permission to exercise a constitutional right in our home state.

Especially since there’s a constitutional carry bill waiting in committee.

If that’s a bridge too far for you, then at least lift the restrictions on open carry. While I’m not personally a fan of it, it would at least give law-abiding citizens the means to carry a firearm while waiting for their permit. It’s not an ideal solution like constitutional carry, but it would still be better than nothing.

Then there’s the matter of sanctuary counties.

Now, when you look at a map of Second Amendment sanctuary counties throughout the nation, you’ll find that there’s not a single one in the state of Georgia. I understand why. We’re not overly worried about you boys and girls in Atlanta swooping down tomorrow to take our AR-15s or magazines that carry more than X amount of ammo.

But you know who else has that? Kansas. Yet their entire state is marked as a sanctuary.

That’s because the state legislature made that decision up-front. They decided that unconstitutional gun laws held no sway in the state of Kansas. Wyoming is the same way. These states have made it clear to their residents that they won’t be party to unconstitutional gun laws being enforced.

Again, there have been no negative ramifications from these actions. Why would there be?

Yet Georgia has remained on the sidelines of the sanctuary movement. While you good men and women can’t and shouldn’t force individual counties to take up sanctuary statutes, you can do so via the General Assembly. More importantly, you should.

Look, you guys have a strong hold on the state, but you also had a close call in 2018. Stacey Abrams put up a challenge that probably put the fear of God into every Republican in the state. I get the trepidation you might feel following through on these measures.

However, understand that some of us voted for Governor Brian Kemp based on his position as a gun rights advocate. We voted for a lot of you for the same reason.

The problem is, we want to see some evidence that you’re really gun rights supporters and not just supporters of the status quo.

Georgia is a lot more gun-friendly than it was a decade ago, and I’m proud to see that. Yet that doesn’t mean there’s nowhere left to go. It’s time to step up and finish the job on expanding gun rights as much as possible. It’s part of what we elected you to do, so step up and do it.

If not, remember that it is possible to replace you with someone other than a Democrat. Primaries are a thing, after all.

Granted, no one wants that. Especially since I believe you all want what I want, a freer Georgia. I’m just saying it’s time to prove it.

Sincerely,

Tom Knighton
Resident
Albany, GA