The Unfortunate Histroy of H.3292

carsontech

Member
The following is my analysis on the history, and current state, of H.3292.

As you guys know, H.3292 was introduced to legislature as great pro gun bill the past January, by Rep. Mike Pitts. Included in the bill was:

Constitutional Carry
Restaurant carry, if you have a valid permit to carry
Any carry permit accepted from any state, instead of only states SC has reciprocity with
Non-permit holders able to store firearms in vehicle while on school property

The verbiage was weak, though. Good intentions were in the bill, but the verbiage could have been misconstrued. Basically, for doing something you thought was legal, because of how you interpreted the bill's verbiage, could land you in trouble with the law.

Enter Rep. Thad Viers.

Viers stepped in to clean up the verbiage to turn the good intentions into an actual, clear cut, bill. He worked on the bill and assured everyone, with his verbiage, was was a pro-gun rights bill that kept the original intentions of Rep. Mike Pitts. The bill passed sub-committee and then was handed to the House Judiciary Committee.

Well, some folks started wondering why the new verbiage wasn't posted on scstatehouse.gov, like it was suppose to be. Viers assured everyone, again, that the bill was the same bill Mike Pitts introduced with "improved" verbiage and amendments. Then, Viers version of the bill was leaked out. It turns out, it added a few rights to only SC-residents, but also took away gun rights, that we already have in current law. It was an anti-gun rights bill.

In the bill, it will be a crime for non-residents (people from out of state) to carry, posses, or handle a handgun, unless they have a permit from a state that SC is in reciprocity with, and it will be a crime for all residents younger than 21 year old, to carry, posses, or handle a handgun when:


  • target shooting, or going to and from the gun range either as a member or guest of a gun club

    hunting or fishing or going to or from their places of hunting or fishing while in a vehicle or on foot

    he/she is the owner or guest of the owner a home or real property and us upon the property (meaning out of state family and friends or anyone below the ages of 21 can not shoot, or even handle or carry, handguns on private property anymore)

    in a vehicle if the handgun is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle

    carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or fixed place of business or while in the process of changing or moving one's residence or changing or moving one's fixed place of business

    he/she is the owner or person in legal possession or the person in legal control of a fixed place of business, while at the fixed place of business

    engaged in firearms-related activities while on the premises of a fixed place of business which conducts, as a regular course of its business, activities related to sale, repair, pawn, firearms training, or use of firearms

    transferring a handgun directly from or to a vehicle and a location specified in this section where one may legally possess the handgun (under current law, a visitor is able to keep a handgun in his or her's vehicle and/or take it into a home where he or she is a guest, but not with Viers bill.)

    on a motorcycle when the pistol is secured in a closed saddlebag or other similar closed accessory container attached

    transporting a handgun from a vehicle to their hotel room.

Basically, the bill would make it illegal for non-residents to shoot, carry, posses, or even handle a handgun while anywhere in SC. The same goes for anyone below the age of 21, even with permission from their legal guardian.

After the bill was leaked, Viers attempted to cover up the disastrous bill by quickly creating a new bill. He provided it as a PDF document online, claiming that it was the one being passed around in legislature, not the anti-gun rights bill that was leaked out. This was the big stink that Grassroots was trying to inform everyone of. Grassroots was telling everyone to call there reps and have H.3292 sent back to subcommittee. Grassroots informed everyone that Viers was lying.

Viers fired back by sending emails out to everyone that contacted him about H3292. He told everyone that Grassroots was lying and that there was nothing to worry about. He said the bill was still a true pro gun bill and directed everyone to the PDF document of his bill online, which was the one he created after the disastrous bill was leaked.

The NRA also got involved and sent out a notice to all of it's members:

  • "While this legislation was amended in subcommittee, it remains a solid, pro-gun reform bill. Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to pass H. 3292 without any further amendments."

Well, it turned out Viers was one that was lying. The actual bill that was in being passed around in legislature was the DISASTROUS ANTI-GUN RIGHTS bill that was leaked earlier.

What's still not clear is why the NRA supported Viers' anti-gun rights bill. Was it because they blindly trusted him, as he was an NRA member and represented them, or was it other reasons?

Regardless, people saw that Viers was lying and sent messages to their representatives to stop H.3292's progress and told them to send it back to subcommittee to be stripped of it's anti-gun rights amendment. Thankfully, because Viers was exposed as a liar, H.3292 was stalled and sat in Full Judiciary Committee until the end of the legislative session, instead of being passed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it had potential to be passed to the Governor, to be signed into law.

The NRA then announced it would be handling the bill when SC's legislative session starts up again in January, 2012:

  • "Friday, June 03, 2011

    The South Carolina General Assembly adjourned on June 2, and failed to take up House Bill 3292 for consideration. While this legislation initially showed great promise in making a number of substantial changes to South Carolina gun laws, several unfortunate circumstances leave us waiting until next year to revive it. Fortunately, we have strong commitments from several key Republicans that ensure our ability to take necessary actions to bring H 3292 back next session. We also have commitments to make the necessary changes to H 3292 which would return the legislation to its status as a strong, pro-gun reform bill."

You can see the "good intentioned" bill, that Rep Mike Pitts wrote, here:
http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/bills/3292.htm

You can see leaked bill, that Rep. Thad Viers tried to pass, here:
http://www.scfirearms.org/Legislative/H3292/H3292_Viers_amendment.pdf

You can see the fake bill that Viers created to take attention away from the real, leaked, bill he was working with, here:
http://www.scstatehouse.gov/committeeinfo/HouseJudiciaryCommittee/H3292RepViersProposedAmendment.pdf
 

Enjay

New Member
Anyone care to speculate on his motivation to do something so underhanded, and I believe prosecutable, as to provide false documentation regarding a bill?
What legislators were instrumental in getting the bill stalled, because I'd like to support them.
 

Chili

Member
Enjay said:
Anyone care to speculate on his motivation to do something so underhanded, and I believe prosecutable, as to provide false documentation regarding a bill?
What legislators were instrumental in getting the bill stalled, because I'd like to support them.
+1 on that. Also, I hope viers district votes that @sshat out next election cycle too.
 

Bob Ouellette

New Member
carsontech said:
If you turn a constitutional carry bill into an anti-gun bill, this could be you:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2012/03/21/2730298/sc-rep-thad-viers-announces-resignation.html

Viers is famous in the SC firearms community for ruining what could have been a great constitutional carry bill for SC last year. Thank goodness he's out of the state house now.
From the things he was saying, it sounds like his head was in the right place, serving the institution instead of the people.
 
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