A group of Republican state legislators in South Carolina introduced a measure Thursday that would allow the state to secede from the United States if the federal government began to seize legally purchased firearms in the state.
The bill, which was referred to the state House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, would allow South Carolina lawmakers to debate whether to secede from the United States if the federal government were to violate the Second Amendment.
It states that “the general assembly shall convene to consider whether to secede from the United States based upon the federal government’s unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution if the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this state.”
The measure, introduced by GOP Reps. Mike Pitts, Jonathon Hill and Ashley Trantham, comes amid an intense debate over the nation’s gun laws that was reignited in February after a deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Since then, anti-gun violence advocates have stepped up demands for new gun control laws, calling for prohibitions on assault-style weapons and stronger background checks for gun buyers, among other measures.
A South Carolina Republican congressman is not backing down from critics after he pulled out his own personal — and loaded — .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun during a meeting with constituents Friday.
U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, told The Post and Courier he pulled out the weapon and placed it on a table for several minutes in attempt to make a point that guns are only dangerous in the hands of criminals.
“I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords,” Norman said afterward, referring to the former Arizona Democratic congresswoman who was shot outside a Tucson-area grocery store during a constituent gathering in 2011.
Norman was speaking to constituents about gun violence during a public meeting at the Rock Hill Diner. The act drew immediate criticism from Democrats and others.
Lori Freemon, a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of a gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, argued Norman’s actions were “a far cry from what responsible gun ownership looks like.”
“I had looked forward to a respectful dialogue with my representative about common-sense gun violence prevention policies,” said Freemon, one of three people who were talking to Norman at the time.
“Instead, I felt unsafe when he insisted on showing us his loaded gun and keeping it out on the table for much of our conversation,” she said.
So Norman pulled out the gun to intimidate gun rights activists he was meeting with? I often wonder how the nation survives this level of extremism over the long run.