South Carolina Gets an 'Unorganized Militia'
CHARLESTON, S.C. (CN) - A South Carolina state senator introduced a bill declaring any state citizen 17 years old who can legally buy a gun a member of the state's "unorganized militia," and therefore allowed to buy "rifles and shotguns, handguns, clips, magazines, and all components."
State Sen. Tom Corbin's Senate Bill 247 would declare virtually everyone in South Carolina a member of the unorganized militia, unless they in an organized militia, such as the National Guard.
The bill got its first reading on Jan. 16, 2013, 32 days after the Newtown, Conn. elementary school massacre.
Corbin, a Republican, said he introduced the bill so South Carolinians could keep their guns and ammunition no matter what Congress does. If anything.
"It's not the gun's fault, it's never the gun's fault," Corbin told the Charleston Post and Courier. "It's the person. But everybody wants to come down on the gun, and I've never thought that was right."
The bill, which has received bipartisan support of from one states senate committee, state that "any able-bodied citizen of the state who is over seventeen years of age and can legally purchase a firearm is deemed a member of the South Carolina Unorganized Militia, unless he is already a member of the National Guard or the organized militia not in National Guard Service."
It adds that "a militia member, at his own expense, shall have the right to possess and keep all arms that could be legally acquired or possessed by a South Carolina citizen as of Dec. 31, 2012. This includes shouldered rifles and shotguns, handguns, clips, magazines, and all components."
And, it says: "The unorganized militia may not fall under any law or regulation or jurisdiction of any person or entity outside of South Carolina."
Corbin told the Post and Courier that an unorganized militia could protect the United States from an enemy invasion, even if they did not come ashore in South Carolina.
"If they [an enemy] were landing on North Carolina's shores, I don't see why we wouldn't go up there and help our brothers fight," Corbin told the newspaper, which said he mentioned the "red Chinese" as a possible invader.
Nearly every state in the union has a constitutional provision granting its citizens the right to bear arms, but only a few -- Alaska and Hawaii, for example -- incorporate the 2nd Amendment and its concept of militia into the state law.
The 2nd Amendment states in its entirety: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."