Sen. Lee Bright, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham, sponsored a bill that would restore 2nd Amendment rights to South Carolina citizens. Recently Governor Nikki Haley (R) backed the proposal that would “make it legal for most South Carolinians to carry guns – concealed or in the open – without a permit.”
The bill, Constitutional Carry, stated that the 2nd Amendment is the only permit a citizen needs in order to exercise his right not simply to keep arms but to bear them as well. Unfortunately, the bill failed with a Republican majority in the senate. Only 4 Republicans voted to advance the bill out of the judiciary committee: Lee Bright, Shane Martin, Katrina Shealy, and Tom Corbin.
Sen. Larry Martin (R) was a strong and vocal opponent of the bill. One of his constituents, who asked him to advance the bill, received this response from Martin: “If the 2nd amendment has been as you interpret it, why hasn’t SC law reflected that for the last 140 years? I’m sorry but you are describing an “unlimited” right that has never been the case with the 2nd Amendment. My view of the 2nd Amendment has always been the right to own guns and keep them in our homes, business, and property and not to wear a gun whenever to wherever I pleased.”
Last week the 9th Circuit Court ruled on a 2nd Amendment case citing that citizens not only have the right to “keep” arms, but the right to “bear” them, contradicting Martin’s interpretation.
The key part of the court’s ruling was:
The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case. Saving us the trouble of pulling the eighteenth-century dictionaries ourselves, the Court already has supplied the word’s plain meaning: “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584.3 Yet, not “carry” in the ordinary sense of “convey[ing] or transport[ing]” an object, as one might carry groceries to the check-out counter or garments to the laundromat, but “carry for a particular purpose—confrontation.” Id.
Sadly, South Carolina is one of the 6 states that prevent citizens from exercising the full rights provided in 2nd Amendment.
As noted by Breitbart, Arizona made the move to Constitutional Carry in April 2010, when Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed a law recognizing an AZ citizens’ right to carry handguns openly or concealed without a permit. When she signed the bill she said, “This bill not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well.”
Mississippi has adopted Constitutional Carry for those who carry firearms openly and Oklahoma passed an open carry bill in 2012.
Gov. Haley has openly supported the bill and recently signed Restaurant Carry into law that allows CWP holders to conceal carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. Gov. Haley made a statement regarding Constitutional Carry, “Criminals are dangerous, and I think every resident should be allowed to protect themselves from criminals.”
State senator Shane Martin told Joshua Cook via Facebook regarding Constitutional Carry: “We tried. Unfortunately we are outnumbered.”