On Friday, June 9, Governor Mark Sanford (R) signed two prominent National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed bills into law. The “Castle Doctrine” self-defense bill protects the rights of innocent victims to protect themselves from criminal attack, while the “Emergency Powers Protection” language prevents local governments from confiscating firearms during a state of emergency.
“I want to thank Governor Mark Sanford for signing these critical victims’ rights bills into law,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “When you’re confronted by a criminal, you don’t have the luxury of time. The “Castle Doctrine” bill states that if victims choose to stand their ground and fight, their decision will not be second-guessed by the State of South Carolina.”
“Furthermore, the breakdown of civil order in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina demonstrates that Americans’ rights to keep and bear arms are especially important during a state of emergency. S. 1261 ensures that local governments will be unable to restrict law-abiding citizens’ use, sale, or transportation of firearms during such difficult times.”
H. 4301, the "Castle Doctrine" self-defense bill, simply states that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force necessary against him. Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.
S. 1261 was originally introduced to allow qualified Right-to-Carry permit applicants who live outside the Palmetto State to be issued permits if they own land in South Carolina. It was amended in the House, however, to include the language that bars the ability of local governments to restrict the use, sale, or transportation of firearms during a state of emergency.
The “Castle Doctrine” bill passed unanimously in both the state house and senate. South Carolina joins ten other states who have signed similar legislation into law this legislative cycle.
S. 1261, with the “Emergency Powers Protection” language, passed by a vote of 109-1 in the house and was ratified unanimously by the State Senate. Seven other states have enacted such legislation this year.
“On behalf of all NRA members in South Carolina, I want to thank Governor Mark Sanford for signing these important bills into law. I’d also like to thank Representative G. Murell Smith (R-67) for his leadership in passing “Castle Doctrine” through the legislature, Representative Mike Pitts (R-14) for his commitment to seeing the “Emergency Protection” language become law, and Senator Danny Verdin for his efforts with both bills in the Senate,” concluded Cox. “Both of these bills are about putting the law back on the side of the victim, the way it’s supposed to be.”