Sen. Kimpson, Rep. Gilliard pre-file bills on stricter gun laws

VIDEO: Sen. Kimpson, Rep. Gilliard pre-file bills on stricter gun laws

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - In the last few days Lowcountry lawmakers pre-filed dozens of bills working to keep our community safe.

Several bills deal with stricter gun laws.

"I will not solve all the problems, but it's a start," said Charleston's Democratic Senator Marlon Kimpson.

Senator Kimpson plans to present five bills in January as part of his gun reform package.

He believes now is the time to create change in South Carolina.

"We should be alarmed that mass shootings in the United States are now becoming common place and routine," he said.

One of the things he's pushing is stronger background checks. He wants to make sure the process is absolutely complete before a gun is sold.

"I think that is the bill that will most likely garner bipartisan support," Kimpson said.

Meanwhile Charleston's Democratic Representative Wendell Gilliard has a total of 28 bills he pre-filed.

At least four of them deal with gun laws.

"Every time you have a mass shooting you get a peak of interest," Gilliard said. "Therefore too many times, in our states, in our cities, and in our country, we go back to business as usual."

Like Kimpson, Gilliard agrees the time to act is now.

He's strongly pushing a ban on assault weapons, going on to quote former President Ronald Reagan.

"He said assault weapons do have a place in our society," Gilliard said. "They belong in the hands of our military and our law enforcement. He was right. I'm a strong believer in that."

Other problems his bills address also deal with background checks, and the number of illegal guns on our streets.

"When you look in the FBI report, the number one problem they found out was the people who had been licensed to purchase guns and then they sell it on the black market," he said.

Both legislators say we live in a different society nowadays, and some rights have to be given up to make our state safer.

Both Kimpson and Gilliard said their bills will not prohibit anyone from owning a gun.

They said they're trying to look at this issue with a common sense approach.

"We have to have solutions that are going to make a difference, or we'll just be spinning our wheels waiting on the next mass killing," Gilliard said.

"We have to sacrifice and give up some of the rights we believe we have, in order to have a safer community," Kimpson added.

Lawmakers return to Columbia the second week in January.

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