I don’t normally get involved in Federal issues, but while I’m fighting to protect your right to carry in South Carolina, Senator Lindsay Graham is undermining our efforts by pushing for a national “red flag” law.
Sometimes, passing strong pro-gun legislation means breaking the rules and defying the conventional wisdom.
Below is an excerpt from my speech on the State House steps at the Gun Rights Across America rally on Saturday, Feb. 28th 2015. Thanks to Evan Mulch for recording and posting the video.
America has a double layer of national defense: an official military, and an armed citizenry that is willing to fiercely defend our own lives and property equally against invasion by foreign enemies or by the agents of our own government.
Only a Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Obama would distort these words:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Today, your own state government infringes on your right to keep and bear arms. You are required to ask your state government for permission before you may carry a concealed weapon in self defense. Getting this plastic permission slip can be a lengthy, six-month process that costs money and hours of your time. This is wrong.
No government licensing program will keep guns out of the hands of the criminal and the deranged in our society. What it will do is make government fatter and discourage responsible, law-abiding citizens from carrying weapons for their own defense.
Enough is enough. Last week, I filed House Bill 3716, the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act of 2015.” When this bill is enacted and signed by the Governor, if you want to:
- Concealed carry: CWP not required
- Park in or under the Capitol grounds: CWP not required
- Concealed carry on private property: CWP not required
- Park on school grounds: CWP not required
- Concealed carry at rest stops: CWP not required
- Concealed carry while hunting: CWP not required
- Judicial carry: CWP not required
- Retains CWP for reciprocity
I need your help getting this bill out of committee and onto the House floor for an on-the-record vote. Please contact Chairman Greg Delleney and ask for a hearing and committee vote to be scheduled as soon as possible.
Guns don’t kill, people do. Any discussion about guns has to start with the fact that self-defense is a God-given right. No government, federal, state, or local, has the right to get in the way of that. What part of “shall not be infringed” does the Federal government not understand?
Guns of all types are simply tools. They can kill, and they can save lives. I'm thankful that SC has a Concealed Weapons Permit program that allows people to carry for self defence and that you can own just about any firearm in the state.
We fall short of where we should be, though. There are far less regulations restricting the ownership and carrying of guns in other states, such as Oklahoma. Here are some measures we should enact in South Carolina:
- Constitutional Carry - Citizens should not need a permit to carry concealed weapons. Our CWP program gives us reciprocity with other states, so while it should be maintained, it should be made optional.
- Campus Carry - If students are of age and have a Concealed Weapons Permit, they should be allowed to carry on college campuses. A recent study showed that one in five girls in college are sexually assaulted - and they should be able to defend themselves here, too.
- Gun Safety Education - We need to educate children in school about gun safety and respect for firearms. Children raised in a gun-owning household who have been taught gun safety bring a much more mature perspective to handling guns than those who haven't had that kind of upbringing.
- Teacher and Parental Carry on School Grounds - The reason we have so many school shootings is because criminals know they're gun-free zones. Parents and teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons for their own protection and the protection of the children.
It’s time to stop infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens, and start holding criminals accountable for violent crime. If you get right down to it, you can kill someone with a rock (or a fork). Wanna start regulating rocks? Good luck with that.