Interview with Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA

A couple of months ago, I received a form response (in reply to my email regarding reciprocal carry) from Senator Johnny “Crickets” Isakson, the new nickname earned through his silence when questioned about his actual RKBA positions. The Senator noted that he was a co-sponsor of that bill, which I already knew, but avoided saying what he might do to advance it.

But his form letter did tell me something else.

“I firmly believe that we do not need more gun control in America; rather, we need more criminal control. To that end, I support instant background checks on the purchase of all guns to prevent convicted felons from obtaining them, but I do not support waiting periods or the registration of any firearm.”
— Senator Johnny Isakson [R-GA], December 14, 2018, A rated by the NRA, A- by the GOA.

At that point, several Democrats had said that they would be filing bills to implement “universal background checks.” Since Isakson is on record supporting that, I decided a proper interview on the subject was in order. I sent his office a list of questions on January 3, 2019.

Receiving no response, not even an automated acknowledgement, I followed up on 1/9/2019. And again on 1/13/2019. Then on 1/15/2019. At long last, on 1/22/2019, I received a reply. I sent a request for clarification or expansion of his statement. No reply.

Let the interview begin.

1. How would you respond to those who say background checks, a requirement that a buyer preemptively prove his innocence, are a prior restraint on the exercise of a constitutionally protected right?


2. Research shows that approximately 93% of guns used in crimes are obtained through unlawful channels bypassing background checks (private sales between non-prohibited persons without background checks are not one of the unlawful channels). How will you shut down the unlawful transactions, thus forcing those people to turn to lawful channels and background checks?


3. At least 93% of NICS denials turn out to be false positives, and there is currently a backlog of tens of thousands of denial appeals. How will you fix the false positive problem, which can only increase the backlog as private sales are forced to turn to NICS?


4. There is an unknown, but large, false negative problem with NICS; prohibited persons listed in NICS still passing background checks. How will you fix that?


5. A 2017 study showed that “We cannot conclude that states that regulate private gun sales have a higher, or lower, gun homicide rate.” California, with universal background checks as part of the most comprehensive gun control laws in the country, saw an 18% increase in firearms homicides from 2014 to 2016. How would federally imposed universal background checks work better?


Other legislation has been entered or seems likely:

Graham has introduced an “Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO/”red flag”) bill would you support that? If so, why; and how would you respond to those who say that “preemptive” orders with after the fact “due process” are unconstitutional bills of attainder?


Do you support or oppose a ban on bump-fire stocks, and why? Do you consider the recent rule change making bump-fire stocks “machineguns” to be lawful?


Do you support or oppose national reciprocal carry, and why?

“In the 116thCongress, I have again cosponsored the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This commonsense legislation would protect the rights of law-abiding citizens with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws, while abiding by that state‚Äôs laws.”

An answer! A form reply, but something.

Do you support or oppose removing suppressors/silencers from National Firearms Act regulation, and why?


Do you support or oppose raising the minimum purchasing for rifles and shotguns from 18yo, why?


Do you support or oppose a ban on any class of firearms, such as “assault weapons,” and why?


Is there any other firearms-related legislation you would support or oppose?


About all I can establish about Senator Crickets’ positions is that he’ll eventually sign on to reciprocal carry but not carry through (or it might have at least come to a floor vote last session), and that he wants ineffective, expensive prior restraint of rights through preemptively-prove-your-innocence background checks whose only real purpose can be to assemble 4473’s to identify gun owners and their firearms.

Sadly, Georgia and the nation are stuck with him until the 2022 elections.


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