Guest post by Erin Dando
South Carolina Chapter Leader
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense for America
Since the December 2012 massacre of 20 first-graders and 6 of their teachers, there have been 3 children killed by “accidental” gun shootings in our state of South Carolina. Every day, 8 children die from a gun-related injury. Instead of working together to find answers and develop common sense regulations to prevent dangerous people from accessing dangerous weapons, our elected leaders have chosen to polarize this issue and politicize guns.
SC may be seeing the worst of it. Recent research concludes that states with more gun regulations have a lower gun mortality rate. South Carolina has one of the highest gun mortality rates in the country. Yet, our SC legislators are introducing proposals that will weaken existing gun regulations and certainly will endanger our citizens, tourism and the state’s economic well-being.
S 115 – Constitutional Carry Act
S 115 removes the current requirement of 8 hours of gun safety training, a background check and fingerprinting as part of the concealed weapons permit program. Citizens would be allowed to openly carry firearms down main street, into churches and restaurants unless a business posted a sign stating “no firearms”.
Four hearings have been held across the state in the past few weeks with the majority of those in attendance supporting S 115. There was a noticeable void at those hearings: business leaders, restaurant and bar owners, local elected officials, law enforcement leaders, faith communities, mothers – all of those who have a stake in the safety and security of our citizens, were absent from the meetings. The hearing in Greenville was more campaign rally then a true hearing.
Several supporters of open carry expressed concern with the lack of training as proposed by the bill. The courts have already settled the big Second Amendment issues most recently stating, “Like most rights, that secured by the Second Amendment, is not unlimited.”
We must now act responsibly. When 40% of gun purchases receive no background check and no safety training is required, how will we know if the person on the street openly carrying a firearm should have access to the weapon or has proper gun safety training?
We should all be very concerned if this bill makes its way out of the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee. I urge everyone to contact Sen. Larry Martin, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the entire Senate Judiciary Committee as well as their own Senator and urge them to oppose S 115.
We urge all SC citizens to contact Sen. Martin and the Judiciary by following these links:
Proposed script to send to your representative (please make it personal when calling or writing):
I am opposed to S 115 which would undermine the necessary protections for responsible gun ownership in the state of SC. Considering that SC has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the country, it is egregiously irresponsible for our legislators to remove requirements for training. We need greater protections for our citizens, not fewer. I urge you to do the right thing for your constituents.
Erin Dando, active leader in community, school and church activities, is the South Carolina Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense for America. As the leader of an organization of volunteers including moms, dads, grandparents and concerned citizens, she works statewide to prevent gun violence through common sense gun regulations. Erin invites you to join her efforts and thousands of other as they advocate for gun sense by joining at momsdemandaction.org and liking facebook.com/MomsDemandActionSC.