South Carolina Senate sends firearms retention bill to governor

South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill last week that will ensure individuals filing for bankruptcy will not have to forfeit all of their firearms.

The pro-gun bill, H. 3429 sponsored by Republican Rep. Alan Clemmons, was passed last week by the South Carolina Senate on a 35-3 vote. The House unanimously concurred, sending the measure to Gov. Henry McMaster for consideration.

If signed by the governor, the bill will allow those filing for bankruptcy to retain up to three firearms, so long as the total value of those firearms does not exceed $3,000.

Hannah Hill, a policy analyst for the South Carolina Policy Council, a conservative think tank, argued in The Nerve that guns should not be exempted from bankruptcy.

“There is no reason to exempt guns from bankruptcy except for the fact that they’re, you know, guns,” Hill said. “And here’s where Second Amendment rights activists often go off the rails: government may not stand in the way of the free exercise of a right, but it is under no obligation to ensure that you DO exercise that right or that you have the wherewithal to do so. If chronic laryngitis kept you from exercising your First Amendment rights, the government wouldn’t be obligated to pay for your treatment.”

The National Rifle Association has supported the bill all the way, with its Institute for Legislative Action describing the legislation as a measure meant to “recognize the fundamental right to personal protection by ensuring citizens who have fallen on hard times, financially, will not be required to sell all of their firearms maintained for personal protection in order to satisfy their debts.”