Bill to preempt any federal gun restrictions through SC’s ‘unorganized militia’ advances

Bill to preempt any federal gun restrictions through SC’s ‘unorganized militia’ advances

S.C. State Sen. Kevin Johnson (left) and Tom Corbin chat ahead of a March, 23, 2021, Family and Veterans’ subcommittee meeting at the S.C. Statehouse. Adam Benson/Staff COLUMBIA — A Statehouse proposal aimed at ensuring South Carolinians can keep their weapons no matter what gun-control measures the White House or Congress might take won early backing in the state Senate. The bill attempts to buffer any future federal gun restrictions by classifying all guns and bullets legally owned by South Carolinians as weaponry of the state’s unorganized militia. A 2-1 vote March 23 sent the bill to the Senate’s full Veterans’ Services Committee. State Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Manning, who cast the lone “no” vote, called the proposal unnecessary nonsense. The measure, sponsored by Travelers Rest Republican Sen. Tom Corbin, adds language to an obscure 1881 state law regarding South Carolina’s “unorganized militia” — to which all “able-bodied” citizens over age 17 automatically belong. The governor has the authority to assemble that militia in times of war, rebellion or insurrection, though that’s never happened. There likely hasn’t been a militia fighting in South Carolina “since Francis Marion and the swamp foxes were shooting at the British” in 1781 during the American Revolution, Corbin told reporters after the hearing. Corbin sees his proposal, coming some 240 years after those swamp skirmishes, as a way of ensuring South Carolina’s guns are never confiscated. It would give the state’s “militia” members the right to buy and possess all types of firearms, ammunitions and […]

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