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'Constitutional carry' being considered in South Carolina

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A bill has been introduced in the South Carolina legislature -- bill S. 115 -- that would implement what is known in gun rights circles as "Constitutional carry." The term refers to the right to carry a gun either openly or concealed without a state permit, as delineated by the U.S. Constitution.

Some states allow Constitutional carry but only for concealed firearms.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution refers to gun rights as absolute and not to be infringed. There are no stipulations.

Gun rights activists have often insisted that the Constitution contains no provision that would allow any prerequisites or prior restrictions. As with all rights, the government has the authority to intervene only when a person commits a crime or discloses that he intends to commit a crime.

State Senator Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, introduced the legislation, which is referred to as The South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act of 2013-2014. His co-sponsor is State Senator Shane Martin, also of Spartanburg. The bill in its present form was introduced in January of 2013. It has been re-introduced for 2014.

The state Senate committee that first considered the new law looked upon it favorably, and the bill was then reported out of committee to be considered by the entire legislature. But no vote was taken. The bill was read before the full Senate and then referred.

Sen. Bright stated,

“The Second Amendment says that our rights to have firearms cannot be infringed upon and that’s what the federal government is doing right now. If you want to change the Constitution, change the Constitution but the Constitution clearly says that those rights shall not be infringed, and once you have to have a permit to assert a right then you can start requiring people to have permits to speak and a lot of other things.”

But the bill cannot get scheduled to come to the floor of the legislature for an up or down vote due to manipulation of rules and underhanded maneuvering by anti-gun legislators, such as Sen. Larry Martin -- no relation to Sen. Shane Martin mentioned above.

The bill, thus, has been sent to a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, where it now resides. Each senator on the subcommittee is in favor of the approval of the bill.

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