This week saw the SC House of Representatives PUSHBACK on the federal government twice. The first vote aimed at putting limits on Washington; the second vote was to protect South Carolinians from Washington gun-grabbers.
Historic PUSHBACK Victory!
Hey Washington, we’re coming to limit your power! The SC House of Representatives voted passage of the Article V Convention of States Resolution (H.3205). It was a vote seven years in the making. I first filed this legislation in December 2013; SC was the first date to propose this specific legislation. I have refilled it every session since then — perseverance pays. After four hours of rigorous debate, the House passed CoS legislation 66-42. No Democrat voted for it. The bill had 55 Republican sponsors. The House sent the bill to the Senate, where a similar bill has 22 sponsors and there is anticipation they will take up the bill first thing in January.
“WE THE PEOPLE”! Grassroots Activists WIN CoS Victory
SC’s CoS grassroots activists won this week’s legislative victory. They have worked tirelessly for seven years. More than 42,000 South Carolinians have written legislators asking for their support. Part of that liberty-loving army of patriots from across the state greeted legislators as they arrived at the Statehouse the day of the vote. These sign-waving citizens encouraged legislators to support CoS. Republican Representatives were surprised to be greeted by a long line of CoS citizen-activists as they headed for their caucus meeting before the CoS debate. They lined the hallway window from the outside.
Those citizen activists remained in Statehouse lobby outside the chamber watching the hours of debate. When the final vote was tallied, there were tears of joy and they spontaneously broke into song singing “God Bless America”. Their melodic voices drifted into the House Chamber and brought patriotic tears to my eyes.
At the same hour the SC House passed CoS, the Wisconsin Assembly passed their Resolution. Last week, the NC House passed its legislation. In total, fifteen states have passed this Resolution. Recently, eight states passed it in one chamber of a legislature while it has passed a committee vote in three other states. Twenty-three other states have introduced CoS legislation.
Thirty-four states need to pass this legislation to call an amending convention. That is a high jump bar for any proposed Constitutional amendment. Three-quarter of states (38) are required to ratify any amendment sent them (that means 76 legislative bodies — State Houses & Senates — would have to agree). Our nation’s founders gave us Article V of the Constitution. Hence, states had the authority to come together and PROPOSE amendments to the Constitution — in this case, to LIMIT Washington’s powers. It’s time to rein in Washington.
PUSHBACK – Blocking Biden’s Gun Grabbing
It’s clear the Biden Administration and Washington Democrats want gun control. From Executive Orders to legislation in Congress, gun-grabbing efforts top their agenda. That doesn’t play well in SC! Most SC legislators are PUSHING BACK. The House approved legislation making SC a ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary State’. That means the federal government cannot compel SC law enforcement to enforce federal laws that limit citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms as provided by the 2A. Given our current times, this is a significant fortification of the 2A in the Palmetto State.
Advancing Gun Laws in SC
The ‘Sanctuary State’ provision was part of a bill (H.3094) that provides ‘Open Carry’ for handguns. That allows those with a SC Concealed Weapons Permit to carry openly if they choose (few will). CWP holders receive training and testing. The bill was amended in the Senate to eliminate the $50 fee for a CWP. Because of the current shortage of ammunition, the legislation reduces the ammunition needed to test 25 rounds. H.3094 was approved on a vote of 80-34 and heads to Gov. McMaster, who has said he will sign it into law.
All Showman; No Statesman
I rarely write about the legislative shenanigans because most legislators are well-intended and work hard. However, one event this week needs to be told.
The significant advancement of gun rights was nearly derailed by Rep. Jonathan Hill. He again attempted to amend the bill we were debating with ‘Constitutional Carry’ – that give anyone the right to carry a handgun openly. That would have sent this bill (H.3094) back to the Senate, where its death was inevitable. Rep. Hill is an “all or nothing guy.” It seems to me he would rather kill the ‘Sanctuary State’ and the ‘Open Carry with training” provisions so that he could grandstand for his followers. All Showman; No Statesman. To illustrate his foolish approach, many House Democrats supported Hill’s ploy knowing it would kill the bill, which they desired.
‘Constitutional Carry’ is the focus of H.3096. I cosponsored and voted for ‘Constitutional Carry’ in the House. That bill is now in the Senate waiting attention.
More to Report…
This newsletter focused on two most significant legislative achievements this week. In the coming weeks I will be sharing with you other successes as well as reporting on legislative initiatives that stalled. I will also be providing an updated report card on the PUSHBACK AGENDA. (We actually did pretty well with more opportunities in the second half of the session.)
This was the final week of the 2021 regular session of the General Assembly. However, we are far from finished. Over the next several weeks, the House Ways & Means Committee will revise the State budget. We return to the Statehouse for three weeks in June to finish the budget. We will also consider reports from House-Senate conferees meeting to iron out differences in bills passed by both chambers. Later in the year, we will return to the Statehouse to formulate the once-every-decade reapportionment of House, Senate, and Congressional Districts.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
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South Carolina General Assembly
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