COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina debated separating from the Union more than 150 years ago, one of the initial salvos of the Civil War. Now, the issue has re-emerged, in the midst of a national debate on firearms and arms rights.
A trio of Republicans from the House of Representatives quietly introduced a bill that would allow lawmakers to discuss separating from the US. UU "If the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this state."
Rep. Mike Pitts, the main sponsor of the measure, acknowledged on Friday in an interview with The Associated Press that the bill has no chance of being approved this year, but promised to continue raising the problem based on what he described as a defense of the Bill of Rights. 19659002] "Without a Bill of Rights, our nation is not what it is," said Pitts. "I see many things where there is even talk of completely repealing the Second Amendment, which separates us from the rest of the world."
Pitts, a fervent supporter of gun rights, said he had been reflecting on such a proposal for a while and felt it was necessary to present the bill. He said he was not encouraged by the recent comments of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who recently wrote in an op-ed that the repeal of the Second Amendment "would be simple and do more to weaken the ability of the NRA to hamper the legislative debate and block constructive arms control legislation than any other option available. "
South Carolina was the first state to separate from the Union before the Civil War, voting in December 1860 to make the decision based in "increasing hostility in the part of non-slave states to the Institution of slavery." Other states have proposed measures related to secession. In 2013, several counties moved to separate from Colorado and form their own state, a failed movement was in part driven by new gun control laws passed by the Democratic legislature.
A proposed bill seeks to make California an independent nation, but the proponents could not gather enough signatures. Technically, the initiative would have formed a commission to recommend ways for California to pursue its independence and eliminate part of the state constitution that says it is an inseparable part of the United States.
The measure would also instruct the governor and the California Congress delegation to negotiate more autonomy for the state.
The South Carolina bill, co-sponsored by representatives Jonathon Hill and Ashley Trantham, has no real possibility in this session, although Pitts said he would make sure to resubmit it for debate next year. The deadline for invoices to move from one camera to another is April 10.
Pitts, a veteran officer and army veteran, said his bill is not a call for secession, but simply a proposal to make warrant action possible.
"I am not promoting secession, I served this country, and I do not want to see it divided."
• Brian Eason in Denver and Jonathan Cooper in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.
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