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Step in the right direction

scutascuta Member Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭
Figured it was about time for me to drop in here and check out whats going on in here. and maybe add a bit to the conversation too...

Assuming the gov signs it...

Ban on buying more than one gun a month passes, awaits governor's OK


Staff Writers

S.C. lawmakers repeal gun limit

South Carolina, the first state to enact a law prohibiting the purchase of more than one gun a month, soon could become the first state to repeal that restriction.

The House and Senate have each approved the repeal of the law, which has been on the books for almost 30 years. Gov. Mark Sanford soon will have it on his desk.

"If law-abiding citizens go through a background check, I don't see anything wrong with them being able to purchase more than one gun a month," said Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, a co-sponsor of the bill.

"People who collect guns are no different than people who collect cars. There is no limit on the number of cars you can collect or the number of coins you collect a month. There should be no limit on the number of guns."

Those who oppose the appeal say it was put in place to save lives and should be preserved to keep guns out of criminal hands.

The Legislature passed the one-gun-a-month law in 1975 after studies showed that South Carolina was a significant source for guns used in criminal acts in East Coast cities. One found that 10 percent of all the handguns used in violent crimes in New York City had been purchased in South Carolina.

Gun laws are particularly strong in Northeastern cities, and their leaders had asked states with relatively weak gun laws to tighten them.

Following South Carolina, Maryland, California and Virginia passed similar prohibitions on gun purchases and have kept them on the books.

Luis Tolley, state legislative director for The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called S.C. lawmakers' decision to repeal the ban "unfortunate."

"South Carolina passed this law because gun traffickers were buying handguns in bulk and driving them to Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago, where they were sold to street criminals," he said. "South Carolina may get back the terrible reputation it used to have as the source for crime handguns."

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart called the effectiveness of the one-gun-a-month law into question.

He said the U.S. attorney's office recently reported that in 2002, 12 percent of the pistols seized in New York City connected with violent crimes were from South Carolina.

"There's still a fairly high percentage of guns going to New York City from Southern states," Stewart said. "And there were ways to circumvent the (S.C.) law that there was no way to prevent."

Sen. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, agreed.

"Those laws failed to deliver the desired outcome," Leatherman said. "That law did infringe on the Second Amendment rights of our citizens, the right to keep and bear arms."

S.C. gun rights groups have been telling lawmakers that, while the law didn't keep guns away from criminals, it impinged on the rights of law-abiding gun buyers.

"It was a very bad law," said Gerald Stoudemire, president of The Gun Owners of South Carolina, which is affiliated with the NRA. "It did nothing to criminals. Criminals don't go legally buy guns to begin with. They steal them."

Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Oconee, the bill's primary sponsor, said his constituents have complained about the law and that he ran into very little opposition at the State House. The bill passed easily in the House last year, and by voice vote in the Senate this week.

Sanford spokesman Will Folks declined to comment on whether the governor would sign the law.

During his six years in Congress, Sanford was endorsed by the National Rifle Association for his generally pro-gun-rights stances and record. While running for governor in 2002, the NRA gave him an A rating, but endorsed Democratic incumbent Jim Hodges.

If Sanford does sign the law, it would take effect immediately.

Let's hope he does sign it.

<If you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first.

<If you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first.


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