South Carolina senator suggests everyone join militia

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South Carolina senator suggests everyone join militia


COLUMBIA, SC – A senator from South Carolina has a proposal to ensure that no federal law can ever seize firearms – to make anyone over the age of 17 who can legally own a firearm a member of a militia.
South Carolina’s constitution allows the governor to name an “unorganized militia” of “able-bodied male citizens” between the ages of 18 and 45. Senator Tom Corbin’s proposal would automatically extend membership to anyone over the age of 17 who could own a firearm.

Supporters of the bill have stated that if everyone is a member of a militia, then they all fall under the opening clause of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which begins “A Well Regulated Militia”. In this way, a federal law restricting arms would not apply in South Carolina since almost all residents would be in the unorganized militia.

“That would prevent the federal government from ever confiscating any of your guns. Because at the end of the day, the federal government cannot disarm a standing army, ”said Corbin, a Republican at Travelers Rest.

No one showed up to talk about the bill at a Senate subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, and the meeting was not webcast like many of them during the pandemic.

The subcommittee approved Bill 2-1 on party lines. It will move to a full committee meeting on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s meeting was scheduled before Monday’s shooting at a Colorado grocery store that killed 10 people. Democratic Senator Kevin Johnson reminded fellow Senators of this massacre and another the week before where eight people were gunned down at three Atlanta-area massage companies.

Johnson has said he supports gun rights and that he, his wife and three children all have concealed gun licenses, but the bill appeared to be a solution in search of a problem.

“All of you, this country is crazy. We have local terrorists. I’m sure the people who stormed the Capitol on January 6 probably felt like part of some militia, ”said Johnson de Manning.

The proposal would allow unorganized militiamen to carry all legally permitted weapons by the end of 2020. Anyone who does not wish to be a member of the militia could resign and “resume their civilian status,” according to the bill.

The unorganized militia has a long history and has not been used for 245 years in South Carolina. The state constitution created it.

State law allows the governor to call it “in the event of imminent danger of war, insurrection, rebellion, invasion, uproar, riot, resistance to the law or procedure or breach of the peace ”if the regular National Guard cannot handle the threat.

Evidence of a governor calling anyone to arms is scarce in South Carolina history. Corbin had to return to the War of Independence and a revered South Carolina officer.

“Not since Francis Marion and the Swamp Fox shot at the British,” Corbin said.

Corbin first introduced this bill in 2013 on the same day then-President Barack Obama proposed banning certain assault rifles that were not passed. He said it was no accident that he proposed it again in 2021 after another Democrat, President Joe Biden, took office.

“With a Republican administration in control in Washington, I was not afraid of any weapons confiscation,” Corbin said.

Johnson has noted for more than a decade that Republicans have stoked fears that Democratic presidents will take guns away and that nothing has happened.

“I would like to see if we have some type of documentation or evidence where the federal government gets into people’s homes. I keep hearing this, but I don’t see any indication, ”Johnson said. “Most people I know respect people’s right to bear arms. ”

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