South Carolina State House, Columbia, South Carolina

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A South Carolina senator introduced a bill that would make everyone over the age of 17 who can legally own a gun a member of a militia. This would restrict the federal government from “passing a law to ever seize their guns.”

The proposal by Republican lawmaker Tom Corbin works off of the state’s constitution that allows the governor to call up an “unorganized militia” of any “able bodied male citizens” between the ages of 18 and 45. An exception would automatically expand membership to everyone who is over the age of 17.

Supporters of the bill believe everyone, if adopted into a militia, would fall under the opening clause of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that starts “A well-regulated Militia.” Any federal law restricting weapons would not apply in South Carolina since almost all residents would be in the unorganized militia.

“That would prevent the federal government from ever confiscating any of your weapons. Because at the end of the day, the federal government cannot disarm a standing army,” said Corbin.

Anyone who does not want to be a member of the militia could resign and “resume his civilian status,” according to the bill.

Current state law allows the governor to call up the militia “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 National Guard cannot handle the threat. Since there is not an ongoing or legitimate threat, the legal standing of a militia could be viewed as nothing more than an independent group of gun owners.

“I would like to see if we have any type of documentation or evidence where the federal government is coming into people’s homes. I keep hearing that but I just don’t see any indication,” Democratic Sen. Kevin Johnson said. “Most of the folks that I know respect people’s right to bear arms.”