No single person can possibly know every law in a given state. I get that.
However, if you’re going to speak authoritatively about a subject, you should at least try to know what the hell you’re talking about. It’s one thing to have different opinions, but you don’t get to have your own facts.
Yet in a report on a Georgia state senate election forum, I can’t help but shake my head at how even a GOP candidate doesn’t seem to understand the state’s gun laws.
QUESTION: “How would you define your position on the Second Amendment and do you think that Georgia needs to make any reforms to its guns laws, whether those reforms be more restrictive or less restrictive with regard to our Second Amendment protections?”
HICKMAN: As I said earlier in my opening comment, I’m very pro Second Amendment. I hunt, I deer hunt and I also quail hunt, so I understand it, but I also understand that gun safety is a big factor and we need to continue practicing gun safety rules. We need to make sure that people that buy guys go through the licensing procedure that is set up for people to do that, but I’m very pro Second Amendment and I’m pro for people having guns.”
Candidate Bill Hickman talks about the licensing procedure for people to buy guns and how the state needs to beef that up to make sure people aren’t buying guns outside of that system.
The only problem? There’s no such licensing procedure.
In Georgia, we have a Georgia Weapons Carry License, but that’s for the carry of firearms–and other weapons, to be fair–but there’s no license required to purchase a firearm. All you need to do is go and get a background check when you try to buy a firearm.
Hickman clearly doesn’t know what laws are already in place in the state of Georgia regarding the right to keep and bear arms.
It’s possible that he just saw someone display their GWCL prior to purchasing a gun and figured that was a requirement. It’s not. It simply allows the purchaser to skip the background check. In a day and age when the NICS is so bogged down it’s ridiculous, there’s something to be said about just bypassing the whole process.
But it’s not required and never has been in the state.
Yet this raises an important question about Hickman. After all, if he believes that the license requirement is in place and should remain there, will he change his position after learning otherwise? Or, should he take office, will he betray those voters who trusted him to defend the Second Amendment and push for a licensing requirement in the state?
It’s a question Mr. Hickman needs to answer if he wants to be seriously considered for the seat.
Look, there’s no harm in simply not knowing. While it’s easy for us to know these laws in not just our states but many others, this is a topic near and dear to our hearts. There are dozens of other issues where we probably don’t know our own state’s laws that well.
But Hickman isn’t just coming out as not really understanding the laws, he’s coming out in favor of laws he believes are already in place that are far, far more restrictive than what we have in place.
That’s a problem.