A bill set to be introduced this week in South Carolina would bar local governments from enacting stricter gun control, dramatically reducing the ability of local politicians to determine how to address gun violence in their communities.
The bill, written by state Representative Joshua Putnam and reviewed by The Independent, would mean changes to gun laws at the local level would have to be approved by two thirds of both chambers of the South Carolina legislature. If passed, South Carolina would join a handful of states where similar laws exist, including Florida, where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland left 17 dead.
Mr Putnam, who is also running for South Carolina’s secretary of state post, said that he was choosing this moment to introduce the bill in light of the intense national focus on America’s gun laws that has been sparked in large part by the Parkland shooting on Valentine’s Day.
“Our biggest issue is with all the debate going on across the country … that we enter into it cool, calm, and collected,” Mr Putnam said. “This bill would safeguard the Second Amendment by requiring a two-thirds majority [to change gun laws locally], as opposed to a simple majority”.