Senator Larry Martin was responsible for heading the effort to kill the legislative efforts in support of open carry in South Carolina. During this effort, he said the following.
“If the 2nd amendment has been as you interpret it, why hasn’t SC law reflected that for the last 140 years? I’m sorry but you are describing an ‘unlimited’ right that has never been the case with the 2nd Amendment. My view of the 2nd Amendment has always been the right to own guns and keep them in our homes, business, and property and not to wear a gun whenever to wherever I pleased.”
Take careful note what Martin is saying. Rather than just speaking to the issue of open carry, he is expanding his objection to carrying at all in public places. This places him squarely in the same camp as politicians in New York, California and New Jersey.
Almost all of the judicial committee is to blame according to this commenter.
Martin, Larry A., Chairman, Rankin, Luke A., Hutto, C. Bradley, Malloy, Gerald, Sheheen, Vincent A., Campsen, George E. “Chip”, III, Massey, A. Shane, Bright, Lee, Coleman, Creighton B., Martin, Shane R., Scott, John L., Jr., Gregory, Chauncey K., Allen, Karl B., Bennett, Sean, Corbin, Thomas D. “Tom”, Hembree, Greg, Johnson, Kevin L., McElveen, J. Thomas, III, Shealy, Katrina Frye, Thurmond, Paul, Turner, Ross, Young, Tom, Jr., Kimpson, Marlon E.
According to an email from my SC state Senator (Tom Corbin), only he, Shane Martin , Lee Bright , and Kevin Bryant. voted in favor of SB115. If you go to that page, under “Senate Standing Committees” and select “Judiciary” it will open the above, each name with a hyperlink to that senator’s district information. According to Corbin, there were 4 votes in favor, 17 against; there are 23 members of the Judiciary Committee, so 2 did not vote at all.
But Senator Martin is chairman of this committee and bears additional responsibility. It’s important to know who Larry Martin is and to what he is committed.
Larry Martin is a transplant from the democratic party.
The biggest change in the Legislature and in state politics since the late 1970’s has been the rise of the Republican Party. Some Republicans today question the sincerity of party switchers like me that began their involvement in politics in the 1970s as Democrats. But, that was practically the only game in town when I began.
Martin’s goal wasn’t to bring a committed conservative world and life view into the political sphere of influence. It was to be involved in politics, and in order to continue to do that he had to switch party affiliations. He has brought his progressive views to bear on the proposed gun law. He is recorded as saying “You can carry a weapon openly if this bill is adopted and I’m offended by that.”
He has also advocated the preservation of gun free zones such as schools, and he was apparently willing to lie to preserve the status quo in South Carolina.
Senator Martin says if the CWP laws are repealed in South Carolina, it will mean that citizens cannot lawfully carry weapons into other states where reciprocity laws apply.
This is demonstrably false, and Martin knows it. First of all, if Martin is opposed to guns outside the home as his comments indicate, the entire basis for his argument (i.e., that he wants to preserve the ability of South Carolinians to carry outside the home in other states) is a smokescreen and red herring. He wants to hide his true feelings and he is offering up a sacrificial reason to keep things as they are.
Fortunately it isn’t necessary to sacrifice anything. South Carolina could still maintain a permitting process in order to ensure reciprocity, or alternatively citizens could obtain permits in states that do ensure reciprocity in a majority of the other states (such as Utah).
But if he has ignored his constituency, liberal blogs have given him props for his strong stand against guns. Martin has also ensured, to the best of his ability, continued secrecy in issues of money.
State senators have rejected a proposal requiring elected officials in South Carolina to disclose on ethics forms how much their employers pay them.
The Senate swiftly killed the proposed amendment without debate. Sen. Vincent Sheheen attempted Wednesday to add it to an ethics reform bill that senators tentatively approved last week. It requires officeholders to disclose their sources of income but not the amounts.
Sheheen told colleagues voters deserve to know whether they’re being paid $100 or substantially more.
The Camden Democrat who’s making another run for governor in 2014 noted he’s released 13 years of tax returns, and it didn’t hurt.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin said he objected because he believes private businesses would no longer employ or do business with legislators if their exact pay was exposed.
Thus has Martin made it possible for South Carolina to “remain the only state in America where lawmakers can be paid under the table by companies seeking taxpayer-funded business.
Efforts to expose these shady deals had been pushed by S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia), who wanted lawmakers to disclose “the source, amount and type of all income received by any public official from a nonpublic source for the preceding calendar year, as indicated by any and all wage or earnings reporting documents issued to the public official.”
Every voting constituency has politicians for whom they are embarrassed and who they regret ensconcing in office. For Pickens, South Carolina, and even for the entire upstate region, Larry Martin is surely a particularly odious presence in politics.
Martin doesn’t come up for election again until 2016. But it’s time for Martin to feel pressure from gun owners, and it’s time that his influence and power begins to wane. He is a holdover from establishment republicanism (actually, democrat turned republican), a crony who wants to enjoy the privileges of his rotary club membership, membership on boards of directors, and policy-making authority, without regard to the wishes of the voters. It’s time for him to go.
Let me speak for one moment to the issue of open carry. As I have noted before, North Carolina is a traditional open carry state. All of the bad things that are supposed to happen when a state becomes open carry simply do not obtain. They don’t happen. Some people choose to open carry, some do not. I choose to under certain conditions (e.g., when I am in the sun in summertime conditions and I would otherwise sweat my gun with IWB carry).
I was at Palmetto State Armory this weekend and one worker there with whom I discussed open carry talked about the fact that if a criminal is casing an establishment and you are openly carrying, you’re the first he goes after. To which I said, “or he decides not to do it all all.” “That’s a chance you take,” he said.
Actually, no it’s not. There is no statistical evidence to demonstrate that open carriers get shot more than concealed carriers. This is all simply a choice that people make, and that they have a right to make. Larry Martin should have no latitude to restrict that right, and he certainly has no right to tell anyone that guns belong in the home. That’s a bigoted, prejudiced, elitist position that has no place among the good people of South Carolina.