Senator Larry Martin, South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 1 month ago

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.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On March 4, 2014 at 10:00 am, Frank Clarke said:

    “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” –DoI

  2. On March 4, 2014 at 10:37 am, Paul B said:

    “That’s a bigoted, prejudiced, elitist position that has no place among the good people of South Carolina.”

    Kind of redundant when you are talking about a politician.

  3. On March 4, 2014 at 11:23 am, Raconteur Duck said:

    “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.”
    Fortunately, that is not the view of the Founders of this nation. Politicians ignorant of constitutionally protected rights should be given a different job; preferably something involving shovels, brooms, or toilets.

  4. On March 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm, Archer said:

    The first quote is just too target-rich to miss a good fisking. (To be clear, all comments are addressed to Sen. Larry Martin.)

    “If the 2nd amendment has been as you interpret it, why hasn’t SC law reflected that for the last 140 years?”
    Easy. Because SC law hasn’t reflected the correct interpretation of the 2nd Amendment for the past 140 years. This doesn’t change the fact that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the supreme law of the land; it merely means that SC law needs to be brought in line. You are trying to trump the Bill of Rights with state law. That’s your failing, not ours.

    “I’m sorry…”
    No, you’re not.

    “…but you are describing an ‘unlimited’ right that has never been the case with the 2nd Amendment.”
    Once upon a time it was. It was unchallenged. It was culturally normal – not just culturally acceptable; culturally normal – for people to carry with them at all times the same guns the British army used. With the right comes responsibility, but that sense of personal responsibility should be the only limit. Restricting the right to remove an individual’s choice also removes his/her responsibility, but I think that’s part of the point. Again, your failing, not ours.

    “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.”
    Then your “view of the 2nd Amendment” is incorrect. It’s the result of an intentionally-narrow interpretation designed to leverage state power over individual rights – to limit or eliminate the meaning and purpose of the 2nd Amendment. If the idea of people carrying guns whenever and wherever they go offends you, 2nd Amendment notwithstanding, and you think individuals shouldn’t be allowed to have any guns, at least have the balls to say so. Once again, your failing, not ours.

  5. On March 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    “Cultural norm …,” to wit, see my:

  6. On March 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm, Archer said:

    An excellent essay. I’ve read it several times. :)

    I’ve always been flabbergasted by the whole “Jesus didn’t use guns” argument. True, and neither did the Europeans or the Muslims during the Crusades, but that didn’t stop either side from inflicting genocide-level mass death. But it’s beside the point; the technology didn’t exist. In Jesus’ time, “assault weapons” were called “swords,” and Jesus openly encouraged his disciples to carry them for the defense of themselves and innocents. I agree with your conclusion: defense of one’s self and neighbors – armed, if necessary – is not just a right; it’s a duty of all God-fearing people. It’s the Lord’s commandment that we keep ourselves and each other, and especially the children, safe.

  7. On March 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm, rd said:

    “If the 2nd amendment has been as you interpret it, why hasn’t SC law reflected that for the last 140 years?”
    140 years ago was 1874. That was the beginning of the Jim Crow era and Jim Crow laws. I could not understand why Senator Martin supports Jim Crow laws? Now I know, he is a Democrat at heart and is supporting what he grew up with supporting, Jim Crow and Racism.

  8. On March 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm, Josh said:

    This exactly. He’s a racist who doesn’t want blacks openly carrying guns. Never mind that criminals of all shades tote then around concealed anyway.

    Larry Martin’s time will come…in 2016. Say goodbye, Larry.

  9. On March 5, 2014 at 1:33 am, bloodyspartan said:

    you are dreaming if you think they will either go peacefully or AT all.
    They have removed all proof to vote and the will allow millions to swamp our borders even more.

    The Popo are getting ready and armed to shoot us all down, But keep dreaming voting matters or makes a difference.
    Remember they are the Masters we are the Slaves.

    Remember Who counts the Votes < Not the US people and it is electronic and safe just like your bank account.


  10. On March 5, 2014 at 8:56 am, Pat Hines said:

    Larry Martin needs to be removed from office by all honorable means, ALL honorable means.

  11. On March 5, 2014 at 8:57 am, Carl Stevenson said:

    Phuck these statist politicos …

    “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” ~ Justice Robert H. Jackson of the Supreme Court 1943

  12. On March 5, 2014 at 10:37 am, Joseph P. Martino said:

    I’ve always been dubious of politicians who change parties. In most cases I’ve seen, they no more change their positions than a leopard changes its spots. Beware of them.

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You are currently reading "Senator Larry Martin, South Carolina", entry #11960 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns,Politics and was published March 3rd, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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