If the federal government tries to infringe on South Carolina citizens’ right to bear arms, it might be time for the state to take drastic action that could include secession, according to three South Carolina lawmakers.
Legislation was introduced Thursday to open up a debate on secession, The Associated Press reported.
The bill proposed 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,” according to CBS News.
Republicans Mike Pitts, Jonathon Hill, &Ashley Trantham offered a bill to secede from the U.S if the federal government confiscates legally purchased guns & repeals the 2nd A
When a Federal Government runs over the U.S Constitution, guns up & fight!#2nd #NRA #IAmTheNRA #KAG2020 pic.twitter.com/FYZcPflHex
— Ella Cruz♦️??#CrimesAgainstChildren (@EllaaaCruzzz) April 7, 2018
State Rep. Mike Pitts, one of the three Republicans who proposed the bill, said he does not expect action on the proposal.
However, he said, the bill needed to be brought forward to make it clear what is at stake in the current debate on the Second Amendment.
“Without a Bill of Rights, our nation is not what it is,” Pitts told the AP. “I see a lot of stuff where people even talk about totally repealing the Second Amendment, which separates us from the entire rest of the world.”
Pitts, who was joined in proposing the bill by state Reps. Jonathon Hill and Ashley Trantham, said his goal is preservation of the union and the Second Amendment.
“I’m not promoting secession. I served this country, and I don’t want to see it broken up,” Pitts said, according to The State.
Pitts told The Post and Courier he acted to “generate dialogue and debate for next session. That’s a serious bill. I certainly don’t take it lightly.”
The proposal is designed to tell anti-gun activists that South Carolina will never give in, said another of the bill’s supporters.
“Basically this would be a proposal, as I see it, that’s designed to prevent any such scenario from happening by putting the federal government on notice by letting them know ‘hey you better not go down that road because it’s not going to … we’re willing to stand up to that, if necessary,” Hill said, according to WACH.
Pitts has a history of proposing bills that have no chance of passage, but instead are meant to prove a point.
In 2016, he proposed that all reporters have to register in order to ply their trade, The Washington Post reported, knowing that howls of protest would erupt over the proposed infringement of the First Amendment.
“It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms,” Pitts said at the time.
South Carolina was the first state to secede from the United States at the start of the Civil War. In 1828, Sen. John Calhoun of South Carolina was a strong advocate of the theory of nullification, which insisted a state had the right to refuse to obey federal laws.
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