Johnson said he supports gun rights and he, his wife and three children all have concealed weapons permits, but the bill seemed like a solution seeking a problem.
“Y’all, this country is crazy. We have homegrown terrorists. I’m sure those folks who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 probably felt they were members of some type of militia,” said Johnson from Manning.
The proposal would allow unorganized militia members to carry any weapons legally allowed at the end of 2020. Anyone who does not want to be a member of the militia could resign and “resume his civilian status,” according to the bill.
The unorganized militia is long in history and short in use in South Carolina’s 245 years. The state constitution created it.
State law allows the governor to call it up “in the event of or imminent danger of war, insurrection, rebellion, invasion, tumult, riot, resistance to law or process or breach of the peace” if the regular National Guard cannot handle the threat.
Evidence of a governor calling up anyone to arms is sparse in South Carolina’s history. Corbin had to go back to the Revolutionary War and a revered South Carolina military officer.
“Not since Francis Marion and the Swamp Fox shooting at the British,” Corbin said.
Corbin first introduced this bill in 2013 on the same day then-President Barack Obama proposed a ban on some assault rifles that did not pass. He said it was no coincidence he proposed it again in 2021 after another Democrat, President Joe Biden, took office.