S.C. attorney general files lawsuit against City of Columbia over gun laws

S.C. attorney general files lawsuit against City of Columbia over gun laws
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2016, file photo, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson speaks to the crowd at a Conservative Leadership Project presidential forum in Columbia, S.C. (Source: Sean Rayford)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Gun laws passed by the City of Columbia are coming under fire from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.

On Wednesday, Wilson filed a lawsuit with the South Carolina Supreme Court regarding a number of city ordinances.

The attorney general says the city ordinances violate state law, as well as the Second Amendment.

According to the suit, Wilson believes there are three city ordinances that are unconstitutional or preempt state law. The city ordinances in question include:

  • Allowing the city to take weapons from people with Extreme Risk Protection Orders against them
  • Banning firearms within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Prohibiting homemade firearms (also known as ghost guns)

Wilson sent Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin a letter on Dec. 3, 2019, addressing this issue and asking that the ordinances be repealed. That has not happened.

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“We have consistently advised for almost three decades, since 1991, that state law preempts local regulation of firearms. These ordinances clearly violate the state law that prohibits local governments from passing any gun laws or ordinances that regulate the transfer, ownership, or possession of firearms,” Wilson said.

The attorney general said while he supports the right of the city to protect Columbians, the council cannot pass ordinances that run counter to state law.

Read the entire lawsuit below:

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