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South Carolina: Self-Defense Reform Bill Still Delayed in Senate

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Senate Bill 308, a critical self-defense reform that would remove the prohibition on a Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) holder carrying a concealed firearm into a restaurant licensed to serve alcohol, remains on the state Senate calendar.  Introduced by state Senator Sean Bennett (R-38), S. 308 would still prohibit a permit holder from consuming alcohol while in a restaurant if he or she is carrying a concealed firearm for personal protection. While the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 308 with a favorable Majority Report, because there was also an unfavorable Minority Report, this bill is considered “contested.”  This “contested” status can delay passage of S. 308 indefinitely, but there are several options available to remove the impediment of the Minority Report.  One procedure would be to have S. 308 set for Special Order.

Unfortunately, because of partisan issues not directly related to S. 308, an initial vote for Special Order failed on February 28.  At that time, every Democrat present voted against setting S. 308 for Special Order.  While some Democrats may have voted because of their objection to the bill itself, several who have supported gun rights in the past may have done so simply to support the Senate Democratic Caucus.  The Senate Democratic Caucus is apparently opposing setting S. 308 for Special Order as part of its overall legislative strategy, which likely involves a number of political issues that are unrelated to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

With this in mind, several Senate Democrats who have a good record of supporting law-abiding gun owners in the past need to hear from you TODAY.  These Senators should be thanked for their past support, and urged to put the rights of law-abiding gun owners ahead of partisan politics by supporting a vote to set S. 308 for Special Order.  Remind them that the longer it takes to pass S. 308, the longer CWP holders will have to wait before they may lawfully carry firearms for personal protection into a restaurant the serves alcohol.  Also remind them that South Carolina is one of only six states that absolutely prohibits the lawful carrying of firearms into such restaurants.  Urge them to act as soon as possible to ensure South Carolina joins the 44 other states that allows law-abiding citizens the ability to provide for their personal protection, as well as the protection of their family and loved ones, when dining out at establishments where alcohol is served.

While all Senate Democrats can benefit from hearing this message, the following Senate Democrats have a history of supporting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, have been supported by law-abiding gun owners in the past, and should be most receptive to contact from the pro-gun community.

Please contact these state Senators TODAY and urge them to vote to set S. 308 for Special Order, as well as to oppose any efforts to weaken this critical reform. 

Senator Creighton Coleman (D-17)
Phone (803) 212-6032
Send Message

Senator Brad Hutto (D-40)
Phone (803) 212-6140
Send Message

Senator Gerald Malloy (D-29)
Phone (803) 212-6172
Send Message

Senator Yancey McGill (D-32)
Phone (803) 212-6132
Send Message

Senator Glenn Reese (D-11)
Phone (803) 212-6108
Send Message

Senator Nikki Setzler (D-26)
Phone (803) 212-6140
Send Message

Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-27)
Phone (803) 212-6032
Send Message

Senator Kent Williams (D-30)
Phone (803) 212-6000
Send Message

 

 

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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.