South Carolina lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow them to secede from the U.S. if the federal government attempts to confiscate legally purchased firearms.
Three Republican representatives introduced the bill Thursday. It would allow the state’s General Assembly to meet “to consider whether to secede from the U.S. based on the federal government’s unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment…” if the “federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this state.”
One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Mike Pitts, told the Hill the measure is more of an effort to shed light on Second Amendment rights as opposed to a concerted effort to leave the U.S.
“I see a lot of stuff where people even talk about totally repealing the Second Amendment, which separates us from the entire rest of the world,” Pitts said.
In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to declare that it had seceded from the Union. It joined the Confederacy in early 1861.
The issue of gun control has reemerged as a national issue after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that claimed 17 lives. Last month, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens added fuel to the debate when he called for he repeal of the constitutional right to bear arms as a way to combat the growing influence of the National Rifle Association.