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Firearms Freedom Act

S. 85


General Bill
Sponsors: Senators Bright and S. Martin

Prefiled in the Senate on December 13, 2012
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary

Summary: Not yet available



     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
  12/13/2012  Senate  Prefiled
  12/13/2012  Senate  Referred to Committee on Judiciary

View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site




(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)



Whereas, the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees and reserves for the states all powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution; and

Whereas, the ninth amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the people rights not granted in the Constitution and reserves to the people of South Carolina certain rights. The guaranty of those rights is a matter of contract between the state and people of South Carolina and the United States; and

Whereas, the regulation of intrastate commerce is vested in the states under the ninth and tenth amendments to the United States Constitution, particularly if not expressly preempted by federal law. Congress has not expressly preempted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition; and

Whereas, the second amendment to the United States Constitution reserves to the people the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that South Carolina was admitted to statehood in 1788, and the guaranty of the right is a matter of contract between the state and people of South Carolina and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by South Carolina and the United States in 1788; and

Whereas, Article I, Section 20 of the South Carolina Constitution clearly secures to South Carolina citizens, and prohibits government interference with, the right of individual South Carolina citizens to keep and bear arms. This constitutional protection is unchanged from the 1895 South Carolina Constitution, which was approved by Congress and the people of South Carolina, and the right exists as it was understood at the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by South Carolina and the United States in 1895.    Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    Chapter 31, Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:


“Article 9

South Carolina Firearms Freedom Act
Section 23-31-700.    This article may be cited as the ‘South Carolina Firearms Freedom Act’.

Section 23-31-705.        For purposes of this article:

(1)    ‘Borders of South Carolina’ means the boundaries of South Carolina described in Article I, Section 1 of the 1895 South Carolina Constitution.

(2)    ‘Firearms accessories’ means items that are used in conjunction with or mounted upon a firearm but are not essential to the basic function of a firearm, including, but not limited to, telescopic or laser sights, magazines, flash or sound suppressors, folding or aftermarket stocks and grips, speedloaders, ammunition carriers, and lights for target illumination.

(3)    ‘Generic and insignificant parts’ includes, but is not limited to, springs, screws, nuts, and pins.

(4)    ‘Manufactured’ means that a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition has been created from basic materials for functional usefulness, including, but not limited to, forging, casting, machining, or other processes for working materials.

Section 23-31-710.        (A)    A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in South Carolina and that remains within the borders of South Carolina is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

(B)    This section applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured in South Carolina from basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state.

(1)    Generic and insignificant parts that have other manufacturing or consumer product applications are not firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition.

(2)    Basic materials such as unmachined steel and unshaped wood are not firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition.

(C)    Basic materials are subject only to intrastate commerce regulation.

(D)    Firearms accessories that are imported into South Carolina from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in South Carolina.

Section 23-31-715.        This article does not apply to the following:

(1)    a firearm that cannot be carried and used by one person;

(2)    a firearm that has a bore diameter greater than one and one half inches and that uses smokeless powder, not black powder, as a propellant;

(3)    ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm; or

(4)    a firearm that discharges two or more projectiles with one activation of the trigger or other firing device.

Section 23-31-720.        A firearm manufactured or sold in South Carolina under must have the words ‘Made in South Carolina’ clearly stamped on a central metallic part, such as the receiver or frame.”

SECTION    2.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.



Protecting Our Second Amendment Liberties

As you may already know, I recently filed legislation that intends to exempt pistols and rifles made in South Carolina from federal regulation as long as they stay in-state. As The State newspaper noted, “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.”

We can all see that the liberal establishment is using the recent tragedy in Connecticut as a means to erode our 2nd Amendment liberties. Unfortunately, they view this shooting as an opportunity to leverage their anti-gun sentiments and impose restrictions on law-abiding Americans.

My friends, we simply cannot allow this horrific encroachment of our constitutional rights to occur.

Rather than sit back and wait for the liberals to pass anti-gun legislation, like US Senator Feinstein’s upcoming bill, we need to act now and defend our right to bear arms. After all, the Constitution clearly states that this right “shall not be infringed” for a reason. So I am now asking you to stand with me and join this effort by contacting your state representatives in both the House and Senate chambers. Please ask them to cast their vote in favor of this legislation so we can defend the 2nd Amendment against the liberals in DC.

Also, please consider helping this effort to protect our gun rights by making a financial contribution today. Every little bit will help as we prepare to battle a large liberal establishment that is about to launch an aggressive campaign against our liberties.

Americans for Tax Reform | Press Release

$1 Trillion Obamacare Tax Hike Hitting on Jan. 1

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On January 1, regardless of the outcome of fiscal cliff negotiations, Americans will be hit with a $1 trillion Obamacare tax hike.

Obamacare contains twenty new or higher taxes. Five of the taxes hit for the first time on January 1. In total, Americans face a net $1 trillion tax hike for the years 2013-2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The five major Obamacare taxes taking effect on January 1 are as follows:

The Obamacare Medical Device Tax: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to artificial hips more expensive.

The Obamacare Flex Account Tax: The 30-35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Currently, the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap.)

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.

The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to 39.6 percent.

The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions: Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans. This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.

The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike: The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits. Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead. This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases. The table below compares current law vs. the Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:

Americans for Tax Reform is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact John Kartch at (202) 785-0266 or by email at



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