A South Carolina State Representative drew both criticism and support after he recently filed a bill that would require journalists to register with the state, much like concealed carry permit holders. According to Mike Pitts (R-Laurens), he conceived the bill after noticing that the national media continued to demonize gun owners and the Second Amendment.

“The issue for me is more on national journalism all the way down. Every time I turn around, there’s a spin on the Second Amendment,” Pitts told the Index-Journal.

Under the bill, journalists would have to register with the Secretary of State’s Office under a “Responsible Journalism Registry.” The Secretary of State would then have to create a list of criteria to determine what qualifies a person to be a journalist, a process that is similar to the state’s application for a concealed weapon permit. Unregistered journalists that continue to work would be fined a $25 to $500 fee and cited with a misdemeanor.

However, political analysts say the bill has a very unlikely chance at passing, and the South Carolina Press Association promised to fight the proposal if it even receives the slightest amount of support. Pitts is unfazed, and says that the bill is mostly symbolic. He told the press that his intention in introducing the bill is not necessarily for it to pass, but to provoke a debate.

Which Constitutional Amendment is more important, the first or the second? Pitts says that both are equally important—and both should be treated as equally untouchable.

“It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms,” Pitts told the Post and Courier. “With this statement I’m talking primarily about printed press and TV. The TV stations, the six o’clock news and the printed press has no qualms demonizing gun owners and gun ownership.”

Pitts argued that the if the First Amendment, which protects the freedom of speech, religion, press, and other rights is seen as absolute, the Second Amendment should not be viewed as simply a “privilege.” Many agreed with this view, but others criticize Pitts for what they say is the frivolous introduction of a bill that is blatantly unconstitutional.

What are your thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “SC Lawmaker: Journalists Should Have to Register Like CPL Holders

  1. Oh, nice….”own” them even more than they already do?!! They would never “okay” ANYONE who didn’t agree with their agenda, or someone who insisted on telling the TRUTH! You could kiss “alternative news” (factual reporting) GOOD BYE!

  2. “Which Constitutional Amendment is more important, the first or the second? Pitts says that both are equally important—and both should be treated as equally untouchable.”
    Unfortunately, unbiased Journalism is virtually dead. BS is flung as fact to propagate agenda.

  3. How about jail time for ” journalists ” who lie ? No permit issued to any applicant who was ever employed by a politician or political party seems appropriate ,too . Would a television journalist who interrupts or talks over others be considered full automatic and have to be registered before 1958 or cut with a torch and melted down ? The possibilities seem endless !

  4. Sounds like an idea I’ve been tossing around in forums for the past couple years… the LPI (License to Practice Islam)

    It’s a FACT that more than 99.99% of all legal gun owners are responsible individuals who are absolutely no danger to anyone. I would stipulate that a FAR larger percentage of KORAN OWNERS represent a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the citizenry.

    So… as long as we’re allowing the government to arbitrarily decide who can practice their RIGHTS (and to CHARGE TAXES AND FEES for the ‘privilege’), then we can immediately start issuing LICENSES TO PRACTICE ISLAM. We can let police chiefs evaluate each candidate, and DENY those who they feel are “unsuitable” candidates for Islamic teachings.

    We can write thousands of laws restricting the purchase and ownership of Korans. We can legislate how Korans are locked and stored, and when and where they can be carried. Mosques should likewise be strictly regulated. Mountains of paperwork and attendance records should be submitted on a regular basis to state and federal governments. We can build a huge Muslim database to track them, and form a well armed enforcement agency dedicated to keeping tabs on them.

    Most importantly… we must do everything in our power to keep Korans and Islamic teaching out of the hands of children! Seems to me these kinds of laws are (using liberal terminology) “COMMON SENSE MEASURES”, and if it “SAVES JUST ONE CHILD”… then it’s worth it, right?

    If pro-gun, conservative politicians had spines, they would propose a federal bill that restricts Islam in EXACTLY the ways I’ve outlined. Then we can all sit back and laugh as the liberals howl with indignation, and squirm as they try to explain why these measures are wrong when applied to Muslims… but somehow ‘okay’ when applied to gun owners.

  5. As soon as the Courts get it, they’ll Nullify the Bill. He and His State CAN’T Override the US Constitutional Bill of Rights. ONLY the US Congress has that Power…

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