Republican South Carolina State Senator Larry Martin (courtesy independentmail.com)

Our good friends at thetrace.org had a chin wag with South Carolina State Senator Larry Martin. Despite Senator Martin’s opposition to “closing the background check loophole,” the relentless anti-gun rights site — owned by Everytown for Gun Safety supremo Michael Bloomberg — reckoned Senator Martin was pro-gun control enough to air his views. In this they’re not wrong. Aside from his support of “gun-free” zones, Senator Martin has been instrumental in preventing The Palmetto State from enacting permitless of Constitutional carry. Here’s his reasoning . . .

First, I believe that the training component, which is required when you obtain a concealed carry permit, is essential. Training teaches the difference between brandishing a weapon and pulling it out in self-defense. If you’re going to have folks walking around in the kind of environment we have today, you need that training.

There is no evidence to suggest that firearms training — of which I heartily approved on a voluntary basis — makes armed citizens safer, either from bad guys or themselves. It is also unconstitutional, being a government mandated and controlled infringement on the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms.

I’m not sure what Senator Martin means by the “environment we have today.” Is it less safe than before or more? Quite what difference that makes when an innocent citizen is confronted by an imminent, credible threat of death of grievous bodily harm is anyone’s guess.

Second, criminals know about the enhanced penalties that come with carrying a weapon, and they know they’ll get more time in jail if they’re caught carrying. Permitless carry, however, tacitly encourages the criminal element to disregard the obvious. And that is: don’t carry a gun.

Huh? If a criminal (i.e., a prohibited person) is openly carrying a firearm they are advertising the fact. Lest we forget, early gun control laws allowed open carry but banned concealed carry. Concealed carry was considered favorable to “sneaky” criminals. In short, Senator Martin has it exactly backwards.

It’s also called “constitutional carry,” which implies permitless carry is a right. I don’t get that. Justice Antonin Scalia made clear that the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to carry whatever, whenever, wherever. This whole argument has never been made before. If it was an inherent constitutional right, it would have come up before 2010.

The Supreme Court’s 1848 Dred Scott decision made clear that Mr. Scott and any other person of African ancestry couldn’t claim American citizenship. Switching that around, just because it took the Court decades to acknowledge individual gun rights doesn’t make those rights any less inviolate. Not to mention the fact that the Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about what, when and where a citizen may exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

If you look at how constitutional carry has evolved over the last six to eight years, and I’ll just be blunt about it, I think the election of President Barack Obama contributed to the frenzy. These constitutional carry organizations have rallied behind the battle cry that he’s coming for your guns. A lot of folks take the position that, “Hey, that’s okay, but I’m going to be wearing one when he does.”

Frankly, it’s a political statement. That’s what it is. And I think history will prove me right.

Wait. What? Constitutional Carry advocates want to exercise their right to bear arms openly just to give the President of the United States the middle finger? I don’t think so. And if Constitutional Carry is a political statement like, say, a black woman siting on the part of a bus reserved for white people, how does that delegitimize the practice?

I don’t think it’s very difficult to be a Republican in my situation, though I’ve gotten some opposition. There’s a Facebook page called “Fire Larry Martin.”

Let’s hope this statist South Carolinian gets his walking papers in the next election. Unless it’s in favor of an anti-gun rights Democrat (i.e., any Democrat). Yes, well, there is that.

Recommended For You

51 Responses to Republican South Carolina State Senator Larry Martin: Why I Oppose Constitutional Carry

  1. Isn’t that Clarence Boddicker, the gang leader who killed Alex Murphy and fought RoboCop?

  2. It’s because the good Senator has a fivehead, therefore he is smarter than us little people. So he knows what’s good for us.

      • Me too.

        I will not be voting for Martin in our state primary this June. He has three Republican challengers (Don Joslyn, Allan Quinn, and Rex Rice).

        Don looks 100% pro-2A but may be too new/young.

  3. “Second, criminals know about the enhanced penalties that come with carrying a weapon, and they know they’ll get more time in jail if they’re caught carrying.” Because laws always deter criminals.

    • SECTION 16-23-50. Penalties; disposition of fines; forfeiture and disposition of handguns.

      (2) A person violating the provisions of Section 16-23-20 [carrying without a permit] is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

      I don’t know about you, but if I was facing 20-life for the murder I was planning to commit, or 5-20 for the armed robbery I was planning to commit, that extra year would scare me straight. </s>

      Perhaps someone should explain to this lawmaker that carrying a weapon turns assault into assault with a deadly weapon, or robbery into armed robbery. Or that a felony firearms charge (carrying as a prohibited person or while attempting to commit a felony) has a 10 year penalty and $25000 fine, on top of the charges for the felony. Carrying the firearm with a valid permit while committing the felony doesn’t negate these more severe charges.

      Maybe SC should pass a law that all lawmakers have to first be lawreaders.

  4. First, I believe that the training component, which is required when you obtain a concealed carry permit, is essential. Training teaches the difference between brandishing a weapon and pulling it out in self-defense. If you’re going to have folks walking around in the kind of environment we have today, you need that training.

    Why don’t we just integrate that “training” in public schools??? Yeah? No? Yeah??

    • I would agree with this. Voluntary firearms safety and marksmanship training at the high school level.

  5. It’s also called “constitutional carry,” which implies permitless carry is a right. I don’t get that.

    In case you forgot, this is what it says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    It doesn’t say to keep and bear arms when permitted. Now if you people want it to say such there is a procedure in place to change that.

    Justice Antonin Scalia made clear that the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to carry whatever, whenever, wherever.

    Even justice Scalia didn’t get everything right.

    This whole argument has never been made before. If it was an inherent constitutional right, it would have come up before 2010.

    It did – in 1791.

    • And as a natural right before that, as expressed by the people of Massachusetts on the 19th of April 1775.

    • In modern parlance: “because an optimized militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the government does not have the power to restrict the right of the people to own and carry arms.”

  6. “There is no evidence that firearms training makes armed citizens safer…” WTF? Great, let’s get rid of driver’s ed too. You know damn well that training, mandated or not, makes someone safer with a firearm. Tout your believe in constitutional carry all you wish, but don’t distort the truth while doing it.

    • There are constitutional carry states in existence, show me evidence that they have a higher rate of ND and unsafe behavior. Drivers training is a joke, it all goes out the window as soon as the kid/adult gets a license and a cell phone to text on.

      • You are demanding to prove your point, not Joseph’s, do not you? Instead of proving him wrong by presenting numerical data clearly showing that level of training makes no difference when an individual handles a firearm.

        Training is not a joke. Poorly implemented/overtly easy training is.

        • To be fair, Joseph made a rather bold assertion. That assertion requires supporting evidence. Requesting said supporting evidence is perfectly valid.

      • What’s driver’s training? I flipped through the driver’s guide for about 5 minutes, took the written in another 5 minutes, and got a 90 on my driving.

        It may as well be Constitution Driver’s Licensing, it’s mainly so they can revenue-stream you by paying fees, and tickets.

        • Agreed. There was no training – they just wanted some money and the public wanted to “feel” safer.

        • I’ve written 1,387 vehicular traffic collisions since July of 2001. Of those, an unlicensed driver is almost 3 times (approximately 270%) more likely to be the at fault party in a crash versus licensed drivers. If you want statistical evidence that unlicensed drivers are more dangerous than licensed drivers, it is out there.

          I don’t support government-mandated gun permitting or safety train. CA is a clear example of what happens, the anti-gunners never quit and pass more infringements every year.

      • Even the NSSF concedes that as the number of firearms safety education programs has increased, the number and rate of unintentional firearms related fatalities has decreased. They attribute the decline to programs run by themselves and NRA, as well as state-mandated hunter education programs.

      • No, but free movement on the public byways that we have paid for is a right. The need for a license to operate on those byways and “freeways” is a clear violation of this right.

        • That’s debatable – especially when unlicensed drivers account for such a high percentage of hit and runs and nasty crashes which result massive traffic jams. You’re welcome to ask any cop who investigates crashes and see if their opinion is any different.

  7. “There is no evidence to suggest that firearms training — of which I heartily approved on a voluntary basis — makes armed citizens safer, either from bad guys or themselves.”

    If training doesn’t make us safer, why do you advocate it?

    • I think what he is saying is that most mandatory classes consist of stress free target practice against a non-threatening paper target with the balance of the class geared toward the legal “must not do’s”. Not really safety unless you want count the jail sex you might receive if you “did”.
      … As opposed to voluntary training that might actually teach you defensive tactics to improve your odds.

    • Those who want to receive training – or who otherwise choose to act responsibly – will do so. Government mandating of training and/or responsibility will not impact that outcome.

  8. Government mandated training simply opens the door for a back door ban.

    If you have to have the training class, but the training class costs $1000, you might decide getting that carry license is too rich for your blood.

    Or maybe they restrict the number of people in each class – you know, to ensure that students get as closely supervised as possible. So only 10 per class. And unfortunately, the state only offers the class twice a year, and it is usually during business hours. Can’t get off work? Oh, sorry – no license for you.

    This kind of manipulation is exactly why the push for Constitutional Carry exists. Once you open the door for the government to get involved, the types that hate the 2A will make that concession hurt. Compromise never works in the favor of those sacrificing their rights. Ever.

  9. The training that SC requires is just a joke plain and simple…the classroom part is basically common sense with the basic laws thrown in, the range part is well laughable at best.

    This has been dragging around for awhile now and it keeps getting kicked back and buried

  10. Well, another confused congress-critter speaks. It’s convenient when they self-identify that way.

    “Constitutional carry” taken broadly covers the notion that given that the US Constitution says: “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” at odds with the recurring proposed limitations on whether you can, you know, actually ever touch a gun you are “allowed” to own. “You can have all the guns you want. You just can’t carry them, hold them, shoot them, point them, or … just listen to the sustain on that. … It can never be touched. … No, don’t look at it.”

    To be blunt about it, “constitutional carry” has evolved because of the constant, relentless, flexible, well-funded, and cynical effort “over the last six to eight years” to remove guns from responsible, peaceful citizens’ hands. That the current presidential administration is one focus of the Constitutional Carry folks might have something to do with that administration advocating for this removal, constantly, cynically exploiting tragedy after tragedy for ineffective photo-ops, using this issue as a litmus test for judicial appointees, elevating it within the party platform, advocating and supporting legislation on this matter, and when legislation doesn’t pass, threatening, then executing “anything” it can do without, and against the expressed will of the congress.

    Nothing stops these folks. So, some of the 10’s of millions of the responsible, peaceful gun owners have gone to the constitution as a bulwark. “You want it gone, repeal it.”

    “…I the election of President Barack Obama contributed to the frenzy.” Please do not call me a racist, congress-critter Squish-A-Lot. I object to the policy, of which the current President is an advocate and implementer. I’d object to the policy, the divisive, dismissive rhetoric, and the procedural end-arounds. Not a fan of Louise Slaughter, Hillary Clinton, or of course, our pal Bloomie. Huh. That’s a spectrum of genders, colors and etc. Could it be … the policy?

    If you, congress-critter Squish-A-Lot have to burnish your un-racist credentials with this issue, maybe you should get on the other stuff you do. Just sayin.

    “These constitutional carry organizations have rallied behind the battle cry that he’s coming for your guns.” Because he, and others, have said that they, in fact are. And when they can they slow-walk approval processes, under-fund stuff they don’t like, put “procedural” barriers in the way like applications and approvals, and will attach a $1,000 fee to doing what they don’t like, if they can. So, upping the price of plastic bags changes peoples behavior, BUT, a $1,000 fee on owning a gun isn’t an infringement. Got it.

    “Frankly, it’s a political statement. That’s what it is.” Exactly so.

    Constitutional-carry is, indeed a political statement about rights, about the rule of law, about the allowable mechanisms of government, about republican self-government, and more. As such any the government is not authorized to limit it, as “political speech.”

    “I don’t think it’s very difficult to be a Republican in my situation, though I’ve gotten some opposition. There’s a Facebook page called “Fire Larry Martin.””

    And the education begins. You work for us. If you can’t or won’t do what we prefer, we’ll get someone who will. Anybody, everybody, including people who you disagree with, and people who disturb your comfortable hammock in the Kleptocracy, gets to have an opinion.

    It’s not your job to decide what is best, then deal with inconvenient disagreement by explaining: “Shut up.”

  11. South Carolina and Florida have realy bad carry laws if it comes to public carry ……….
    Only licensed open carry would an big win there.

  12. “First, I believe that the training component, which is required when you obtain a concealed carry permit, is essential. ”

    Let’s switch that around a little bit to a different civil right;
    First, I believe that the training component for competency in understanding the Constitution AND knowledge of the various platforms of each politician on the ballot, should be required before you can vote, is essential. Because, we all KNOW that uninformed voters are a GREAT danger to our Republic.

    I’ll bet he wouldn’t be supportive for THAT infringement at ALL…… Dirtbag.

  13. Larry “Baldilocks” Martin should man up and admit the truth — he opposes ConCarry because he doesn’t want even law-abiding black people to carry guns.

  14. “Second, criminals know about the enhanced penalties that come with carrying a weapon, and they know they’ll get more time in jail if they’re caught carrying.” — South Carolina Senator Larry Martin

    And we need concealed carry licensing laws to make “enhanced penalties” possible because … ???

    The truth: the South Carolina Legislature and Governor are free to pass laws that provide “enhanced penalties” for criminals who carry a concealed handgun as part of their criminal act without any need for concealed carry licensing.

  15. “It’s also called ‘constitutional carry,’ which implies permitless carry is a right. I don’t get that.” — South Carolina Senator Larry Martin

    Let me get this straight. Mr. Martin doesn’t understand how the “right to keep and bear arms” is a right?!?!?!? He cannot lose his office soon enough.

  16. He is up for re-election this year. Unfortunately only residents in his precinct can vote for him, Pickens, SC.
    He is a RINO through and through.
    I even sent him a message about my trip through NC, VA, WVa and OH last month, all Open Carry States, which I did. Nothing happened. Nobody cared. Nobody seemed to notice, and if they did, nothing was said. Except for my Cousin who asked what I was carrying because he bought his Son (my Second Cousin) who is a LEO a new gun for his Birthday.
    RINO Martin never responded.

    Criminals NEVER Open Carry guns, they keep it hidden until they commit the crime. Criminals almost NEVER use a holster either, they jam the gun in the waist of their pants or pocket. And keep it hidden.

    Residents in Pickens County need to start looking to replace him.
    rfa sc gov/files/SEN02.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *