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South Carolina: Right-to-Carry Reform Still Stuck in Committee

Friday, April 8, 2011

House Bill 3292, the comprehensive Right-to-Carry reform bill introduced by state Representative Mike Pitts (R14), remains in a holding pattern.  While this bill was a solid pro-gun reform as originally introduced, it was amended in a way that the NRA simply cannot support. 

This legislation originally sought to make a number of positive reforms to the current permit system—including expanding where a permit holder may lawfully carry and establishing a permitless firearm carry system for South Carolinians. HB 3292 has been amended to eliminate the duplicative state licensing of firearms dealers (who are already licensed under federal law) and the antiquated prohibition on selling handguns that cannot pass an arbitrary “melting point” test. 

The NRA is working with Representative Pitts, as well as state Representative Thad Viers (R-68)—who chaired the subcommittee where the bill was amended—and House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Harrison (R-75), to ensure this bill is restored as a pro-gun bill the NRA can once again support. 

H 3292 could be heard by the full House Judiciary Committee within the next few weeks, so please contact members of that committee and urge them to work with the NRA to make the necessary changes to this important bill. Contact information for the House Judiciary Committee can be found here.

While H 3292 is the bill that may have the greatest potential positive impact on gun rights in South Carolina, there are other bills that the NRA is currently tracking. 

House Bill 3664, introduced by state Representative Garry Smith (R-27),l would prohibit the establishment of policies that forbid the storing of lawfully-owned firearms or ammunitions in a private locked vehicle when the vehicle is parked in a lot controlled by any business entity, property owner, or public or private employer.

House Bill 3882, also introduced by Representative Pitts, is a “Fraudulent Firearms Purchase Prevention” bill.  This legislation would protect lawful firearm retailers from illegal gun sting operations such as those orchestrated by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has sent hired agents into other states to attempt illegal firearm purchases in an effort to blame federally licensed firearm retailers for gun crime in New York City and around the country. 

House Bill 3665, introduced by state Representative Dan Cooper (R-10), would eliminate the duplicative state requirement that Federal Firearms License holders get a license from the state in order to sell handguns.  This language is also incorporated into H 3292.

Senate Bill 203, introduced by state Senators Paul Campbell (R-44) and Jake Knotts (R-23), would make it clear that state laws governing Right-to-Carry supersede local ordinances.

The NRA supports all of these measures, and will be sure to alert you about any changes in their status.  In the meantime, please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support H 3664, H 3665, and H 3882.  Also call your state Senator and urge him or her to support S 203. To locate your state legislators and their contact information, please click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.