On the eve of the Conservative Political Action Conference, South Carolina’s legislature decided to pass a bill that would nullify any new federal gun regulations that limit access to firearms and ammunition. Yet, the debate isn’t your typical one seen pervasively in blue states. Democrats, some of whom are pro-gun, said that the bill would hinder anti-domestic terrorism efforts; quite a departure from the talking points emanating from New York City (via The Post and Courier):
The Second Amendment Preservation Act directs state officials to not enforce any federal law, rule or regulation that took effect after Jan. 1 that limits access to firearms and ammunition.
The bill’s author, Laurens Republican Rep. Mike Pitts, rebuffed that argument. He said the measure aims to protect from new laws enacted after Jan. 1. It would not apply if Congress extends the gun-buying waiting period from 72 hours to 10 days or more because they would be amending existing law, he said.
“The ‘Charleston loophole’ was a sidetrack to use a motion to fight this particular bill,” Pitts said. “I don’t think (the bill) would’ve drawn any debate if it weren’t an election year.”
Charleston Democrat Leon Stavrinakis was among those who argued against the bill on the floor by stressing the need to protect the country from domestic terrorism. Now its opponents have to count on the bill gaining no traction in the Senate, which has been stuck in filibuster limbo since the start of the session, or for it to return with a more narrow scope.
Stavrinakis also said that if the federal government ever took actions to limit Second Amendment freedom, the legislature would fight to the death to protect our oldest civil right.