COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The South Carolina legislator whose journalism registry proposal touched off a media firestorm says he never actually wanted to require reporters to register with the state, but the instant backlash made his point.
Republican Rep. Mike Pitts told The Associated Press on Monday that by “screaming First Amendment,” the media reacted to his bill exactly as he expected. The retired law enforcement officer modeled his proposal on the state’s concealed weapon permit law.
Pitts says he doesn’t want to register “guns or pens.” But he did want to spark discussion on what he calls media bias in treating free speech rights under the First Amendment as more sacrosanct than gun rights under the Second Amendment.
Pitts believes the Second Amendment is “just as pure and simple” as the First.