State Watch

S.C. Republicans introduce bill to consider secession over gun rights

A group of Republican state legislators in South Carolina introduced a measure Thursday that would allow the state to secede from the United States if the federal government began to seize legally purchased firearms in the state.

The bill, which was referred to the state House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, would allow South Carolina lawmakers to debate whether to secede from the United States if the federal government were to violate the Second Amendment.

It states 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."

The measure, introduced by GOP Reps. Mike Pitts, Jonathon Hill and Ashley Trantham, comes amid an intense debate over the nation's gun laws that was reignited in February after a deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Since then, anti-gun violence advocates have stepped up demands for new gun control laws, calling for prohibitions on assault-style weapons and stronger background checks for gun buyers, among other measures.

The South Carolina bill is unlikely to make it through this session. It faces an April 10 deadline to go to the state Senate for consideration. 

South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union in the lead up to the Civil War, withdrawing in 1860.

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