Bill would exempt guns, ammo made in SC from federal regulations

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — 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, says 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 ones that use ammunition that explodes after leaving the weapon.

Bright pre-filed the bill Dec. 13, a day before a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school.

Eight states have approved similar proposals, and dozens of others are considering them. Legislation approved in Montana is being challenged in federal court.

State lawmakers reconvene Jan. 8 in Columbia. Bright said he has received support for his proposal.


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