COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster has joined a call to impose stricter penalties for illegal and stolen guns.

Gov. McMaster on Tuesday said he stands with Sen. Dick Harpootlian and members of the South Carolina Senate who are proposing no bond and mandatory minimum sentences in circuit court for possessing illegal guns.

“Law enforcement needs help keeping illegal, stolen guns out of the hands of juveniles and criminals,” he said in a tweet.

Sen. Harpootlian spoke to colleagues on the Senate floor just days after three men opened fire inside Columbiana Mall, injuring more than a dozen people.

Nine people were hurt in a shooting at a Hampton County nightclub just days later. Just over a week later, two groups fired multiple shots at one another near a community baseball field in North Charleston where several children were playing a game.

“It comes back to people possessing and using guns who do not have a legal right to do so,” Sen. Harpootlian said on the Senate floor. “The easy accessibility to guns by young people, mostly, and their ability to carry them or feel like they can carry them anywhere is killing us and them.”

Harpootlian said he wants to amend the existing South Carolina law to make unlawful carrying a felony offense and increase the penalty to up to five years in prison with a mandatory minimum of one year. The current penalty is a fine of no more than $1,000 and no more than one year in prison.

“Send me these reforms and I will sign them into law,” said Gov. McMaster.

Meanwhile, gubernatorial candidate Mia McLeod responded by saying, “It is not surprising that he (McMaster) agrees with Sen. Harpootlian, since they also agreed that death by firing squad was a good idea for South Carolina.”

Sen. McLeod believes Gov. McMaster’s support is only reactive after “upstate constituents saw a rise in gun violence and expressed their concerns,” she said.

“It is so ironic that the Governor now wants stiffer penalties for those who illegally possess a firearm, but is fine with 8 SCGOP senators blocking a debate on Rep. Gilliard’s hate crimes bill which would also enhance penalties for those who commit hate crimes–since the majority of those crimes are perpetrated with guns, as was the case with Dylann Roof in 2015,” said McLeod.

McLeod said GOP lawmakers in South Carolina have failed to pass common sense gun reforms, including a move that would block gun sellers from selling firearms until a background check clears, adding “people who have been adjudicated mentally ill or mentally incompetent cannot purchase a firearm and legal gun owners must carry liability insurance.”