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South Carolina House passes clean Constitutional Carry bill

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(The Center Square) — The South Carolina House advanced a clean Constitutional Carry bill, returning the measure to the state Senate and potentially setting up another showdown.

The state House rejected a Senate-amended version of H.3594, the South Carolina Constitutional Carry/Second Amendment Preservation Act of 2023. In a letter, the head of a pro-gun rights group said Senate-introduced amendments violate the Second Amendment.

The House passed the clean version on Tuesday.

“This legislation strengthens public safety by targeting illegal firearm possession among felons and ensures equal treatment under the law, reflecting our dedication to both the rights and responsibilities of gun ownership,” the South Carolina House GOP Caucus said in a post to X, previously known as Twitter.

“Our actions are a direct response to the calls from our constituents, embodying responsive governance and the democratic process,” the caucus added. “As we move forward, we urge the Senate to join us in enacting a law that not only upholds our citizens’ freedoms but also enhances the safety of our communities.”

The measure also makes it illegal for anyone “convicted of a crime punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one year to possess a firearm or ammunition within” South Carolina. The proposal provided some exceptions, including anyone whose conviction has been expunged, set aside or pardoned and has had their civil rights restored.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster previously said the bill’s failure “keeps the ‘revolving door’ for career violent criminals wide open."”

If passed and signed into law, Republicans say the Palmetto State would join 27 others with Constitutional Carry laws.