*** GrassRoots Action Alert ***
Attention Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) holders!
29 April 2008
Your right to carry in other states is under attack! If you want to be able to legally carry in 30+ states, then you need to act NOW! If you want to be able to carry in even fewer states than you can now, then just sit back and ignore this Action Alert.
GrassRoots GunRights analyzed the Senate amendment to H. 3212 and exposed in detail how the Sen. Jake Knotts amendment would make SC CWP reciprocity law WORSE than existing law. GrassRoots sent a detailed analysis of H. 3212 to every member of the SC House of Representatives, which you can read here.
But, it is not just GrassRoots GunRights that has analyzed H. 3212 and found it to be worse than existing law. Pro gun rights attorneys practicing law in South Carolina say the same thing!
J. Todd Kincannon [bio] is a pro gun attorney practicing in Columbia, SC. Mr. Kincannon wrote the GrassRoots GunRights amicus brief in the D.C. vs. Heller case. Mr. Kincannon wrote a letter stating, "I entirely agree with your conclusion that the Senate amendment to the CWP reciprocity bill is far too narrow." Mr. Kincannon acknowledged the GrassRoots analysis of H. 3212 is correct and that the Senate amendment is so poorly written that South Carolina would not qualify for reciprocity with itself. You can read the entire Kincannon letter here.
Stephen F. Shaw [bio] is a pro gun attorney practicing in Greenville, SC. Mr. Shaw wrote a letter stating, "I completely agree with Dr. Butler's analysis and proposed language dated March 12, 2008." Mr. Shaw acknowledged the GrassRoots analysis of H. 3212 is correct and that the Senate amendment is so poorly written that South Carolina would not qualify for reciprocity with itself. You can read the entire Shaw letter here.
Larry Salley is a pro gun attorney practicing in Lexington, SC. Mr. Salley wrote an email wherein he stated, "I've reviewed H. 3212, and I have a problem. It is so ambiguous, that it could be turned against us. My immediate problem is that there is no clear 'definitions' in the terms used in the bill. Keep in mind that whenever a liberal Court can interpret a law against a gunowner ... it will be interpreted against us." The GrassRoots analysis of H. 3212 also pointed out the problem with how SLED and the courts would interpret the law after considering how the definitions section related to the poorly drafted Senate amendment.
Unfortunately, Sen. Jake Knotts teamed up with anti gun Sen. Ralph Anderson and worked to destroy the CWP recognition (a CWP recognition bill means SC would honor a CWP from another state) bill passed by the House. The Senate amended H. 3212 with the Knotts/Anderson proposed amendment and thereby turned a good pro gun CWP recognition bill into a horrible anti gun CWP reciprocity (a CWP reciprocity bill means SC would only honor a limited number of CWPs from other states) bill that is worse than existing law.
But, Sen. Knotts' efforts to kill a good CWP recognition bill this year should not surprise anyone who has been watching the Senate for the last few years. In 2006, Sen. Knotts led the fight to kill a similar CWP recognition bill.
What is truly disturbing in all of this is that the NRA is supporting the Senate amendment and has been actively promoting Sen. Knotts as a friend of gun owners even as Sen. Knotts is trying to kill a good CWP recognition bill AGAIN. The NRA even wrote of how a good CWP reciprocity bill was killed in 2006, and failed to point out that it was Sen. Knotts who killed it.
Thankfully, the House rejected the Senate amendment and insisted upon a CWP recognition bill. H. 3212 will now go to a conference committee. A conference committee has three members of the Senate and three members of the House meet to decide how to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill.
There are two kinds of conference committees - one with free conference powers and one with no free conference powers.
A conference committee with no free conference powers must choose to adopt either the Senate version or the House version. No compromises are allowed. The Senate version of H. 3212 is completely unacceptable to gun owners since it would make our SC CWP law worse than existing law. The House version of H. 3212 is unacceptable to Sen. Knotts, and unfortunately many senators listen to Sen. Knotts and will do as Sen. Knotts wants them to do on gun bills. Thus, H. 3212 is dead in conference committee unless gun owners make Sen. Knotts change his mind. The only thing that would make Sen. Knotts change his mind is to make him think he will lose his primary election to Katrina Shealy, a CWP holder who supports H. 3212 as it came from the House.
A conference committee with free conference powers is allowed to try to compromise and amend the bill into one that is acceptable to both the House and the Senate. The only way that the GrassRoots proposed amendment could possibly be adopted is if both the House and the Senate granted free conference powers to the conference committee. While GrassRoots prefers to see a pure CWP recognition bill passed, the GrassRoots proposed amendment to H. 3212 would get SC CWP reciprocity with more states than we have reciprocity with now.
*** ACTION STEPS: ***
Email every senator and representative who represents people from the county in which you live. Since the NRA is asking people to support the Senate version of H. 3212, you need to tell these politicians that "GrassRoots GunRights speaks for me on H. 3212!" The pro gun House is listening to GrassRoots GunRights, but the anti gun Senate is listening to the NRA. Politicians need to know GrassRoots GunRights speaks for gun owners in South Carolina, or else you will get the Senate version of H. 3212. Contact information is below. (You can send individual emails using the email addresses in the middle column, or you can send one email to the entire county delegation by clicking on the county name in the first column. Certain email programs such as Gmail may insert a "+" sign in front of the email addresses when clicking on the county delegation in the first column. You may need to delete any symbols inserted by your email provider.)
Call your senator and representative and tell them "GrassRoots GunRights speaks for me on H. 3212!" Use the Senate switchboard (803) 212-6200, and the House switchboard (803) 734-2402, or use the individual office numbers listed below.
Contact Sen. Knotts and let him know how you feel about his betrayal of gun owners. His email is SIV@scsenate.org
and his office phone number is (803) 212-6350.
[Rest snipped due to formatting problem--SCGunGuy]
Copyright © 2008 GrassRoots GunRights of SC.
Last Updated 24 March 2008
For more information contact: Executive Officer