SC lawmakers react to mass shootings; push to revisit background checks and hate crime legislation

Nation & World News

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- Whenever there are senseless tragedies like the shootings in Texas and Ohio, congressional lawmakers revisit conversations for stricter gun restrictions and here at the state level South Carolina lawmakers are having the same conversations.

In South Carolina, dozens of lawmakers posted on their Twitter and Facebook profiles reactions to the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton. Many of the politicians calling for change and swift gun reform.

The news of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio sent chills down the spine of people across the country.

“It was a reminder why after the Mother Emanuel shooting why i can no longer can pray with my eyes closed,” said Representative JA Moore. The Charleston lawmaker knows tragedy all too well.

“We are just a few months removed from the 4 year anniversary of the Mother Emanuel shooting where my sister was murdered,” continued Moore.

Moore is one of many state lawmakers calling for action urging the General Assembly to pass legislation to expand background checks.

Representative Moore explained one bill lawmakers are hoping to see movement on in the upcoming legislative session.

“It extends the time period in which law enforcement has to check a person’s background from 3 to 5 days.”

The mass shootings have also prompted a renewed conversation in the state concerning hate crimes. South Carolina is one of just a few states that do not have any hate crime laws in the books.

Senator Darrell Jackson of Richland County is planning to file legislation in the Senate to help define what a hate crime is in the state and the appropriate penalties.

“I am under no delusion that legislation or bill or a law will prevent anything but I am convinced that it could.”

Several bills have been filed in the past that limit access to certain firearms and firearm accessories. Some lawmakers are hoping those conversations continue in January also.

“These weapons they’re just engineered and designed for the sole purpose of killing as many people as possible during war,” said Senator Greg Gregory. The Lancaster lawmaker posted his concerns on Twitter as the tragedy in El Paso unfolded.

These tragedies also prompt discussions concerning bills to expand lawmakers to expand access to firearms like “Constitutional Carry.”

Lawmakers can start prefiling bills near the end of November, beginning of December.

At least 2 lawmakers have sent in requests to Governor McMaster calling for an emergency session to pass some kind of gun control measures passed before they return to the State House in January.

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