By Paul Gable
The latest attempt to restrict the gun rights of Horry County citizens was stopped by a 3-1 No vote of the county’s Public Safety Committee Tuesday.
The vote defeated a motion by county council member Gary Loftus to send a new ordinance to full county council that would have seriously restricted the gun rights of citizens in the unincorporated areas of the county.
The ordinance, as proposed, would have affected a number of gun clubs being able to hunt on their club grounds as well as restricted citizens from hunting on their private property.
In addition, the ordinance proposed to allow individual council members to establish an overlay on their district to restrict gun use in violation of state law.
If passed, it is distinctly possible that citizens in council districts three and four, for example, could not have fired guns anywhere in the district while citizens in, say, districts ten and eleven would have not been affected at all.
Under provisions of equal application of the law, enumerated in state law as well as the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, such restrictions not applied equally throughout the county would be unconstitutional.
I chose council districts three and four in the above example because, according to numerous sources, council members Loftus and Dennis DiSabato worked closely with county attorney Arrigo Carotti in crafting the proposed ordinance.
This is at least the fifth time this issue has come up in the last eight years. Every time it has been strongly opposed by a number of citizens and in council votes.
Last year, local radio talk show host Chad Caton told council it should concentrate on local needs such as infrastructure rather than attempting to infringe on 2nd Amendment rights.
This is doubly true now. The proposed ordinance was so removed from reality to make one wonder why it was even attempted.
The Ninth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, among the most liberal in the nation, recently struck down a California law restricting the size of ammunition magazines. With the inevitable addition of Amy Coney Barrett on the U. S. Supreme Court, there will be a solid conservative 6-3 vote against any attempt to infringe on the rights outlined in the 2nd Amendment.
Nevertheless, two of council’s self-proclaimed Republican conservatives, DiSabato and Loftus, continue in their attempts to limit those rights in Horry County, acting more and more like liberals every time they do.
And why doesn’t Carotti advise against such attempts when both federal and state law basically prohibit such infringement? Isn’t it the job of the county attorney to advise on the legality of proposed ordinances?
If doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is really the modus operandi of these three, the roar against their actions will only increase.