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South Carolina: Update on Legislation in the Palmetto State

Friday, May 22, 2015

South Carolina: Update on Legislation in the Palmetto State

The 2015 session is winding down in South Carolina, but there remain a number of items left that NRA will hope to address before adjournment.  Time is running out, so it is important that your lawmakers hear from you.  H 3025 was originally introduced as a Right-to-Carry (RTC) Straight Recognition bill, and later amended to establish a Permitless Carry system for South Carolina.  That bill passed the House with strong, bipartisan support on April 28.  The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee that same day, and assigned to a subcommittee on May 5.  H 3025 has now been scheduled for a hearing next Thursday, May 28, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 207 of the Gressette Building in Columbia.  Please encourage members of that subcommittee to support passing the strongest possible version of H 3025. Contact information for subcommittee members is provided at the bottom of this alert.

Also on the agenda for the May 28 subcommittee is H 3799, which is another bill designed to expand RTC Recognition.  This bill, however, would only add Georgia to the list of states whose RTC permits South Carolina would recognize.  While this is clearly a positive step, NRA’s goal, when it comes to RTC Recognition in South Carolina, is the Straight Recognition standard.   This standard would establish that any valid permit issued by another state would automatically be recognized in South Carolina.

In addition to these bills, H 3116, the “Fraudulent Firearms and Ammunition Purchase Prevention” bill introduced by state Representative Mike Pitts, is also awaiting consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  H 3116 strengthens the law prohibiting straw purchases of firearms and ammunition from Federal Firearms License holders.  This bill is designed to help prevent individuals who are prohibited from purchasing firearms or ammunition in South Carolina from engaging others who are not prohibited into making the purchases for them.  It would also protect lawful firearm retailers from illegal gun sting operations such as those by anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  While mayor, Bloomberg 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. 

Representative Pitts also recently introduced H 4149, which is “shall sign” legislation that would require the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of a jurisdiction to certify the transfer or making of a firearm, as required by the National Firearms Act, within 15 days if the person is not prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm by law.  H 4149 also establishes that an applicant may appeal a denial to the magistrates court in the county in which the applicant resides.  

Also, H 3306, introduced by state Representative Garry Smith (R-27), remains viable in the House.  This bill would prohibit most businesses and public or private employers from establishing policies that prohibit law-abiding citizens from storing lawfully-owned firearms and/or ammunition out of sight within their locked motor vehicles. 

Your NRA-ILA will continue to fight for the above issues and your Second Amendment rights in the South Carolina legislature.

Finally, there has been a great deal of media attention regarding S 3, the “Domestic Violence Reform Act.”  While NRA has not taken a position on this legislation, we have been working closely with legislators in both chambers to address concerns regarding the language.  Many of our requested changes have been accepted, and we will continue to work to ensure that the legislation does not exceed federal restrictions of firearms as they relate to domestic violence convictions and related orders of protection.  Please contact your state Senators and thank them for working with NRA thus far, and encourage them to continue to do so.

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee:

Senator C. Bradley Hutto (D-40), Chair
(803) 212-6140

Senator Lee Bright (R-12)
(803) 212-6008

Senator John L. Scott, Jr. (D-19)
(803) 212-6124

Senator Chauncey K. Gregory (R-16)
(803) 212-6024

Senator Katrina Frye Shealy (R-23)
(803) 212-6108

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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.