COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement celebrating the defeat of the entire slate of top gun lobby priority bills, all of which would have jeopardized public safety in South Carolina.
“Once again, volunteers with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action, gun violence survivors and thousands of South Carolinians spoke out against dangerous and reckless gun lobby priorities,” said Sylvie Dessau, volunteer chapter leader with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’re thankful that our legislators worked across party lines and listened to their constituents to put public safety ahead of the gun lobby’s interests. Allowing people to carry concealed handguns in public with no permit and no safety training, expanding the state’s Stand Your Ground law and forcing South Carolina law enforcement to recognize concealed handgun permits from every state, including those with weaker standards, were all rejected. I’m so proud of my fellow South Carolinians for using their voices to help keep our kids safe.”
Throughout the 2016 legislative session, the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action and coalition partners across the state worked together to defeat the gun lobby’s top priorities in South Carolina. The South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action held its first ever lobby day at the State House, testified at hearings and drove more than a thousand calls and emails into lawmakers urging them to reject bills that would have jeopardized the safety of South Carolinians.
In March, members of the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action, along with law enforcement, testified against House Bill 3025, a bill that would have dismantled South Carolina’s concealed handgun permit system and allowed people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public with no permit, no safety training and no criminal history check. A bipartisan group of legislators voted not to advance the bill.
At the State House in May, a bipartisan group of senators stopped House Bill 4703, a bill that would have expanded the state’s already dangerous Stand Your Ground law further than any law in the country. Lucy McBath – the mother of slain teenager Jordan Davis and Faith and Outreach Leader at Everytown for Gun Safety – stood with prosecutors and members of the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action to testify against the bill.
Finally, in the last days of the 2016 legislative session, the gun lobby suffered another setback as its amendment to House Bill 3799 failed to pass. The amendment, offered by Senator Lee Bright and actively supported by the gun lobby, would have forced South Carolina to open its doors to people with concealed weapon permits from every state that offers them no matter how lax the standards, including people with no safety training, certain convicted stalkers and even some teenagers. The South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action, law enforcement and coalition partners opposed the amendment and Senator Bright ultimately withdrew it due to pressure from constituents and colleagues.
A January 2015 report from Everytown for Gun Safety detailed the vast discrepancies in permitting standards in states across the country and highlights the gun lobby’s efforts to undermine strong state laws by passing federal legislation that would force states to recognize permits from all other states.