CHARLESTON — A proposed piece of legislation intends to exempt pistols and rifles made in South Carolina from federal regulation as long as they stay in-state.
The Firearms Freedom Act, pre-filed earlier this month by state Sen. Lee Bright, would mean that firearms, ammunition and gun accessories made in South Carolina aren’t subject to federal rules and oversight. Weapons made in South Carolina, the bill notes, must be stamped with the words “Made in South Carolina."
Bright, R-Roebuck, said his bill would allow South Carolina manufacturers to skirt federal regulations because the materials would not cross state lines. He introduced a similar proposal last session, but that measure died in committee.
The bill does not apply to firearms that cannot be carried or used by one person or that have a bore diameter greater than 1.5 inches. It also doesn’t cover firearms that fire multiple projectiles by pulling the trigger, or one that uses ammunition that explodes after leaving the weapon.
Bright pre-filed the bill on Dec. 13, a day before massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
Eight other states have already approved similar proposals, and dozens of others are considering them. Legislation approved in Montana is being challenged in federal court.
State lawmakers reconvene in Columbia Jan. 8, and Bright said he has already received support for his proposal.