The South Carolina General Assembly saw a flurry of firearm-related activity this week, as it worked to wind down session for the year.
On Tuesday, May 30, the House of Representatives voted to override Governor Sanford’s (R) veto of H 3402, and the Senate did the same on Wednesday, May 31. This legislation allows the formation of legislative special interest caucuses, and was inspired by the desire to form a Sportsmen Caucus.
On Thursday, June 1, the Senate passed H 4301, the Castle Doctrine bill that would remove the “duty to retreat” if a law-abiding citizen is attacked anywhere that person may lawfully be. The Senate amended the legislation by adding sections unrelated to the Castle Doctrine, the House concurred with some of the amended language and sent it back to the Senate, where the final bill was passed and sent to Governor Sanford.
Finally, a conference committee took up S 1261, a bill originally introduced to allow qualified individuals who own property in South Carolina but do not reside in the state, to apply for a Right-to-Carry (RTC) permit. After passing the Senate in early May, the House amended the bill to remove the ability of local governments to restrict the use, sale, or transportation of firearms during a state of emergency, and to prohibit South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) from releasing the personal information of RTC permit holders unless the request for the information is part of an investigation by law enforcement.
Unfortunately, the anti-gun media decided it needs to know which law-abiding citizens have been issued RTC permits, and lined up enough support to kill the legislation if the privacy language remained a part of the bill. The conferees removed the privacy language, leaving the bill weakened but still solidly pro-Second Amendment.
The House and Senate then passed S 1261, sending it to Governor Sanford.
Be sure to call Governor Sanford at (803) 734-2100 and ask him to sign H 4301 and S 1261.