State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, has reintroduced a bill that would exempt firearms, ammunition and gun accessories made in South Carolina from federal regulation.
The Firearms Freedom Act was first passed in Montana, where it is tied up in litigation currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. It’s been passed in eight states and introduced in more than 20, including once by Bright during South Carolina’s 2011-2012 legislative session.
That bill died in committee.
This year, he pre-filed the same bill on Dec. 13, a day before the Newtown, Conn., shooting in which 26 people, including 20 children, were killed in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Citing national scorecards issued by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Bright said Connecticut has the fifth strongest gun laws in the nation, “so there’s not a real strong correlation between gun laws and safety.”
“There are a lot of folks that are against the Second Amendment and want to restrict people’s guns rights, and this is just one they seized,” he said.
While the federal government may regulate interstate commerce, Bright said his bill would allow South Carolina manufacturers to skirt federal regulations because the guns, gun parts and ammunition would not cross state lines.
As a matter of state’s rights, Bright said South Carolina residents would be able to own whatever guns manufacturers in South Carolina made, despite any federal regulations.