South Carolina Senator Lee Bright

South Carolina: Senator seeks to exempt state’s firearms from federal regulation

by  |  published on December 30, 2012

Claiming that the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to regulate firearms maintained within one state, a South Carolina state senator has introduced a bill that would exempt the state’s guns, ammo and accessories from all federal regulation.

The bill, called the South Carolina Firearms Freedom Act, cites the Ninth and Tenth Amendments for legal support, in conjunction with the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The argument goes that the two amendments give to states all powers not specifically given to Washington, and that since state’s regulate intrastate commerce-in this case, the sale and purchase of firearms-states have the sole authority to regulate firearms manufactured and used within their borders.

The bill’s scope is specifically limited to only natively built and sold firearms to keep it from broaching the federal government’s power to regulate interstate trade via the Commerce Clause.

State Sen. Lee Bright (R) pre-filed the bill earlier this month for the state legislature to take up the issue in the coming session. Bright filed the same bill during the current session, but it never reached a floor vote.

Bright introduced his bill December 13, one day before the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. Since that massacre, the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, he has railed against all efforts to tighten gun laws, such as a proposed federal ban on assault weapons.

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