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South Carolina County Enacts New Orleans-Style Gun Ban in Response to Covid-19

By Brenden Boudreau

After expressing supposed support for the Second Amendment last week, the Saluda County Council took action against it, giving the county broad new authority in response to Covid-19, including placing restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

According to the Saluda Standard-Sentinel, during the March 10th meeting, the council refused to take up a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution presented to them by a pro-gun advocate in attendance, but opted instead to pass a generic resolution expressing support for the Second Amendment.

Just barely a week later, in a State of Disaster Declaration dated March 17th, the county council outlined a list of actions to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including the power to “suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of…firearms.”

This declaration is the same language recently used by the City of New Orleans, which is notorious for sending government agents door-to-door to seize legally owned firearms from residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, leaving them defenseless against looters and other criminals.

Saluda County is a rural county just south of the South Carolina capitol of Columbia that President Trump won with nearly 65 percent of the vote.

This anti-gun action by the Saluda County Council is just the latest action by a local government in South Carolina, following in the steps of the Democrat-controlled cities of Columbia and Charleston, both of which have flouted the state’s preemption law by passing gun control at the local level, including bans on accessories and certain firearms.

Columbia also enacted its own “red flag” gun confiscation ordinance.

The flip flop by the Saluda County Council exposes the meaninglessness of local resolutions feigning support for the Second Amendment. It allows local government officials to hide behind a feel good, do-nothing “pro-gun” resolution, then turn around and actually take anti-gun actions, literally in the space of a week.

Here’s hoping South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson rises to the occasion and holds Saluda County accountable before more counties follow suit with their own “emergency” induced gun bans.

Brenden Boudreau is the Director of Field Operations for the National Association for Gun Rights, writing from Michigan. Contact him at bpb@nagrhq.org. Disclosure: In addition to his work with the National Association for Gun Rights, the author is also Executive Director of Great Lakes Gun Rights.

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