Three state House Republicans in South Carolina introduced a bill last week that would allow the debate on the Palmetto State possibly seceding from the U.S. if “legally purchased firearms” are ever confiscated.
Rep. Mike Pitts, the initiative’s chief sponsor, said that he has been considering the proposal amid increasing calls to curb the Second Amendment rights, but denied the bill was in response to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ call to repeal the Second Amendment.
The bill is unlikely to pass this year, but Pitts pledged to continue raising the issue as a defense of the Bill of Rights.
“Without a Bill of Rights, our nation is not what it is,” he said on Friday. “I see a lot of stuff where people even talk about totally repealing the Second Amendment, which separates us from the entire rest of the world.”
Pitts said he is not “promoting secession” and does not want to see South Carolina leaving the Union, but he said he believes the bill is important to make the secession possible if events warrant it.
Calls for secession over gun rights are not new. In 2013, several counties proposed seceding from the state of Colorado and the Union and create their own state amid new gun control laws introduced by the Democratic legislature.
South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union before the Civil war in 1860 over “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.