COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - About a dozen community-based groups got together at the State House to advocate for a safer South Carolina.
They voiced their support for two House bills filed by Representative Wendy Brawley (D-Richland). They say these two bills will prevent another shooting similar to one that happened one year ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Roberta McKelvin lost her son to gun violence in 2013. “I took my pain and turned it into power. To come out and support the community and be a voice for him,” she said.
McKelvin says she can rally behind this push to make South Carolina safer.
Rep. Brawley said, “The groups that are here do not oppose the Second Amendment. None of them. We all understand that it is a constitutionally protected right. We also feel we have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable populations everywhere.”
One bill would create a 7% tax on firearm sales in South Carolina. That money will be used to fund school resource officers in every school.
The other bill wants to ban bump stocks, machine guns, and high capacity magazines.
Some gun owners believe there should not be a limit to the amount of ammunition they can have.
The Coalition Against Gun Violence said they would like to see safety measures outside of schools as well. Dr. Stephanie Lee with the American Academy of Pediatrics said, “We are not against owning guns. We are against the careless use of guns that ends in injuries or death.”
Rep. Brawley said, “We want responsible usage. We want laws that want to protect people who just want to live.”
A moment of silence was held to remember the 17 victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Both bills are in committee.