Lee Bright’s Firearms Freedom Act

LEGISLATION WOULD EXEMPT SC GUNS, AMMO FROM FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT S.C. Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) is an insufferable boob with a reputation for intellectual dimness.  He’s also an over-the-top “family values” Republican – perhaps the most sanctimonious moralizer in a legislative body loaded with holier-than-thou hypocrites. Detested by his enemies and…


S.C. Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) is an insufferable boob with a reputation for intellectual dimness.  He’s also an over-the-top “family values” Republican – perhaps the most sanctimonious moralizer in a legislative body loaded with holier-than-thou hypocrites.

Detested by his enemies and dismissed by his ideological allies, Bright is good for precisely one thing in our book: consistently casting rock solid pro-free market, fiscally conservative votes.  He’s very good at that, though.  In fact Bright’s record of protecting taxpayers is second-to-none at the S.C. State House – which is why we generally tolerate his borderline buffoonery on other fronts.

But does Bright’s latest gambit – the so-called “Firearms Freedom Act” – constitute buffoonery?  Or is it really a bold stroke on behalf of our most fundamental liberties?  For those of you unfamiliar with Bright’s bill, it would exempt any gun, bullet or gun part manufactured (and kept) in South Carolina from federal regulation.

“A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in South Carolina and that remains within the borders of South Carolina is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce,” Bright’s law states.

According to reporter Andrew Doughman of The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, eight states have passed similar legislation – with a case pending in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over the state of Montana’s law.  Doughman also points out Bright filed similar legislation a year ago – and notes that his latest bill was filed prior to this month’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

In pushing for “firearm amnesty” in the Palmetto State, Bright says protections afforded to South Carolina citizens under the Second, Ninth and Tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution preempt the federal government’s ability to regulate firearms under the guise of interstate commerce.  And obviously the fact Bright’s bill applies only to firearms manufactured and kept within South Carolina’s borders eliminates the whole “interstate commerce” angle.

“Congress has not expressly preempted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition,” Bright’s bill states.

And what about state law?

“The South Carolina Constitution clearly secures to South Carolina citizens, and prohibits government interference with, the right of individual South Carolina citizens to keep and bear arms,” Bright’s legislation notes.

We support Bright’s bill.  Obviously this state has much more pressing legislative priorities to deal with (tax reform, universal parental choice, real government restructuring and long-overdue spending cuts, to name just a few), but we appreciate the thoughtful, substantive way he has chosen to address this issue.

His bill won’t pass – and no federal court would ever uphold it if it did – but it’s still a sensible proposal, particularly in light of the coming assault on the Second Amendment.

S. 85 (“Firearms Freedom Act”)


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? December 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

You’re right Will, it will never pass.

There are too many DC suck ups on our state gov’t to piss on DC’s shoes.

That being said, if you wanted to make the law better you’d allow for CCW freedom in SC as well, instead of having to get permission to do so from SC and also allow fully automatic rifles.

Guero December 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

“Thoughtful and substantive(?)” yet FRIVOLOUS. A waste of taxpayer’s money from the dumbest member of the General Assembly.

? December 28, 2012 at 11:15 am

Well Guero, the reality is 95% of what goes in SC’s statehouse is “FRIVOLOUS. A waste of taxpayer’s money”.

So in that context, it’s not that egregious.

Cunning Cat December 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

Didn’t you tout this guy and help him politically?

I am assuming he failed to compensate you for “services rendered” like he has so many others.


Here we go again... December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

Yes, Will Folks did tout Bright at one point, but here’s the story…

Nancy Mace once worked as a consultant for Bright during his primary. That didn’t exactly work out, so now Nancy has a vendetta against Bright. Nancy owns the consulting company The Mace Group, which built and maintains Fits News (look on the bottom-right, as it says, “Site designed and maintained by The Mace Group, LLC.”).

So now Nancy has Folks write these senseless stories as part of her ongoing saga of rage against Bright. Why does Folks actually do what Nancy says? Because Nancy pays Folks to write positive stories about all of her clients (Larry Grooms, etc.). Since Nancy is a source of income for Folks, he’s basically her little bitch and will do anything she asks.

End of story.

Guero December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

So that’s where the flagellation marks come from on Billy’s bare arse. We knew it was from servicing Howie Rich when it came to the dribble on Billy’s chin.

rick beltram December 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Look up Bright’s default judgement(November 2012) for $55,000 in Spartanburg public records. (unpaid loan).
Bad news for law abiding GOP voters.

Bigger Gubment December 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

The proposed Fed bill would require ATF to triple in size for it to be enforced. This ain’t about guns, it’s about creating a bigger wagon for the ever smaller team of horses to pull up the mountain.

I hear there are plenty of firearms going missing these days, damn burglars. Can’t confiscate what ain’t there.

jimlewis,owb December 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

Bright… “perhaps the most sanctimonious moralizer in a legislative body loaded with holier-than-thou hypocrites”

Say it ain’t so willie, say it ain’t so

First, we have the Senate Chambers vacant of the sounds of former Cockroach Senator FatBack farting Lizard’s Thicket biscuits and now you claim that Cockroach Senator Michael L. Fair has lost his crown of thrones to Cockroach Senator Lee Bright.

Heresy, pure Heresy

Jesus Christ, no doubt the next revelation coming off your keyboard will be Cockroach Senator Katrina Shealy is with child via immaculate conception, no less.

Heresy, pure Heresy

Billy Ho December 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

Oh that’s a great idea. Maybe we can also make it where these SC guns and ammo are only available for purchase with the SC currency he proposed?

SenseLikeChaps December 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Actually SC fun dollars would be key to that kind of law flying through SCOTUS, though the nullification bit would invalidate it.

south mauldin December 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

Shouldn’t this deadbeat concentrate on paying his bills instead of introducing bullshit legislation that will have no chance of passage?

He’s lucky he ran against an ambulance chasing rapist. Any normal person would have beat this clown.

commonman December 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

At least he is trying to do the right thing. Very refreshing.

Guero December 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

“Trying to do the right thing…” Proposing unconstitutional legislation and spend tons of money in court when you’re guaranteed to lose. I like it; it might keep Bright and Clueless Joe Wilson’s idgit son occupied.

badman400 January 3, 2013 at 2:54 am

Yes, he IS trying to do the right thing. Something he should not have to do, the Constitution is plain in its wording about interstate commerce, and the federal government has no legal right to interfere or infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights to begin with. I hope the bill passes with flying colors! Only morons want gun control. We have thousands of gun laws on the books already. Several were broken in the CT shooting. More gun laws will not stop this sort of crime. Better mental health awareness and better school security are the obvious things to strengthen if the aim is truly to prevent a repeat. Taking cars from law abiding citizens won’t stop a drink driver from driving drunk and killing. Gun laws are for morons!

MountainPenelope December 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

We need a Federal Constitutional Amendment (I realized it will never be ratified by S.C., but those in the saner states will) to ban high volume magazines. Period.

Hopefully, the good people of Spartanburg will bring this ol’ boy back home to work and pay off his debts.

south mauldin December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

Right on.

djk754 January 1, 2013 at 8:55 am

All power to the Soviet, comrade!

Only the state police and other paramilitary forces should be armed.

The people can’t be trusted with arms.

mph December 28, 2012 at 10:50 am

“Bright’s bill, it would exempt any gun, bullet or gun part manufactured (and kept) in South Carolina from federal regulation.”

Ah, sweet, we’re back to nullification and the 19th century. Tell Anderson to spike Moultrie’s guns and head to Sumter.

Personally, I like Andy Jackson’s idea of hanging all these nitwits.

mlynn December 28, 2012 at 10:52 am

There may be another angle to this: economic development in luring gun manufacturers to set up shop here in South Carolina — thus creating jobs. I recently read an article that gun manufacturers are threatening to leave some states and move elsewhere. Legislation like this would be appealing to them.

Guero December 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

Yeah, if I’m a CEO, I want to pick a state where ignorant legislators pass meaningless laws that are obviously unconstitutional and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fruitlessly defending them in court. mlynn may be in triple digits when it comes to IQ but I doubt it.

Good Man December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

That’s a great point mlynn…. Obviously all the gun sales are going way up, so this bill might help SC gun manufacturers get a bit of that action and increase jobs. Worth a shot anyways.

? December 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

I can’t see much appeal as a state of 4 million people, at least 1 million of which don’t want a gun, doesn’t seem like enough of a market for a major manufacturer to move here on the bais of this law…which doesn’t apply once a gun is shipped out of state(when the interstate commerce clause kicks in).

Once it is shipped to another US state then it’s a problem.

Although….if it was shipped straight from our shores to another country then things kinda get interesting….because then you start trying to define whether “interstate” means any “state” or gov’t, or just US states.

Really it’s all just bullshit because there are all sorts of Federal regulations and guidelines outside of interstate commerce regulation guns that would gum up everything. The Feds could find hundreds of ways to squash the whole deal before it even started.

Here we go again... December 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

Here comes Will Folks and his lame attacks on people who don’t pay him to promote positive stories. When are you people going to wake up to this crap? Will Folks gets paid by representatives to write positive pieces about them, and anyone who doesn’t pay him gets smacked with BS articles like this. He literally takes money as bribes.

Sailor December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

Do you have proof of that?

Here we go again... December 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Sailor, this is standard insider knowledge. Everyone at the state house knows he’s on the take, but this stupid little website doesn’t matter enough for anyone to care. Tom Davis sends money to FIts via Nancy Mace, along with many others. Poor investment if you ask me.

SenseLikeChaps December 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Unless it is about a woman in a bikini, Will is incapable of writing a positive story.

Good Man December 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

Uh, why is this man being bashed like this? Shouldn’t we be supporting those who champion our liberties?

It sounds like this bill is a great idea. Instead of tearing him down, why don’t we build him up and urge other reps to get on board? No good can come out of bashing our own people like a bunch of children. Grow up.

Isotope Soap December 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Ha! Sorry, Libertarians are even more nuts than the Fox crowd. States rights this and that, gather up the militia…The Brit…oops, the Feds are coming, the Feds are coming!

mph December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

Maybe we could all grow up and get behind a law that has no chance of passing constitutional muster. Then we could really retrench and blow a pile of money unsuccessfully defending it in the courts.

Good Man December 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

That’s a terrific defeatist attitude you have there mph. Very inspiring. It’s great to know that people like you are out there who will roll over like a little bitch and take whatever the federal government gives you. Well done.

Isotope Soap December 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

mph is right. Waste of money…just like house repubs voting to repeal Obamacare 33 times.

Good Man December 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Isotope, I’m glad you chose a sobriquet that exemplifies the size of your manhood. Grow a pair and actually try to fight the feds rather than bend over and take it.

Isotope Soap December 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

@Good Man: “No good can come out of bashing our own people like a bunch of children. Grow up.”

Take your own advice.

Isotope Soap December 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Also, GM, Stop being like Chicken Little and turn off Fox News or whereever you get your uppity infused rightwing dribble.

Good Man December 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

@Isotope I’m a Libertarian and couldn’t give two shits about Fox News. Nice try though at projecting your own dimwitted view of reality on me though. Idiot.

bogart December 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

He’s an idiot.

MIKE HAMMER December 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

Hmmm, I am thinking that this Nancy Mace sounds like an interesting broad. She might have some story lines I could use for my hard-hitting adventures.

JustTheFactsMa'am December 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

Anybody who has actually watched this buffoon during a session of the senate would see a childish, giggling little boy, playing at his seat and then trying so hard to gain attention. His only play is grandstanding to the camera and to the gallery watching from above. Too bad so many people call his foolishness ‘refreshing’ and ‘trying to do the right thing.’ The only thing this fool does is attention seeking. Too bad he fools a lot of the people a lot of the time….

Billy K Mulligan December 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

Is Bright also the guy that wanted to exempt South Carolina from the Federal light bulb regulations in an effort to expand our “freedom” and recruit light-bulb manufacturers to SC?

This piece of legislation is a complete waste of time. We’ll wind up spending Millions defending it from the Holder Justice Dept.

BTW, I understand that Bright is a big recipient of money from the Bail Bond industry.

silvereagle December 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

Lee Bright is an idiot – need to get him out of office as soon as possible.

Unbelievable December 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Great job guys, let’s tear down someone who is fighting for our 2nd Amendment liberties. This article and the comments here just prove how full of shit this site really is. Rather than fighting the federal government, Folks just bashes anyone who doesn’t pay him (apparently). And some of the readers pile on without the will to fight back and defend our right to bear arms. Well done people…….

Mike December 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Bright sponsors bill S.115 Constitutional/Open Carry law. It doesn’t go far enough, but it’s a good start.

mph December 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Unbelievable, have they come for your gun yet? Mine are still in the closet and somehow I don’t see that changing.

In any event, SC nullifying federal has already been tried. Look up Tariff of Abominations.

Unbelievable December 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

mph, yes they are. Look at this link:

Maybe you should do some research first before revealing your ignorance? Just a thought…

SCBlues December 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Gun nuts are weenies – scared of their own shadow.

mph December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Good Man,

Unfortunately for you and other tough guys, the constitutionality isn’t decided by who has the biggest dick.

We’ve already been down this road many times. You know the definition of insanity, right?

sc is on wrong path December 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Lee Bright is known by his colleagues as the legislator that is “not so bright.” I am all about states’ rights but we have to recall he was the one which sponsored SC having its own currency. For someone who is a champion of the tax payer, he sure wasted a lot of legislative time, staff hours, travel, per diem, and heaped embarrassment upon SC. He should stop draping himself in the flag crying about freedom when it doesn’t apply to his idiotic time-wasting legislative moves.

Crooner December 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

The reach of the commerce claus cannot be affected by state legislatures. It matters not if the chattels in question actually croos the borders. It is enough that they may.


Crooner December 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm


Crooner December 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Must be the season. Edit “clause” for claus.

Booyah December 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

The Federal Government isn’t exactly a friend of the Constitution no matter who has been infesting the White House.

This would also be good for SC firearms manufacturers.

Tetley December 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

As a gun owner, concealed carry permittee, and citizen of the Upstate, I would like to congratulate Mr. Bright. He is poised to eclipse Joe “You Lie” Wilson, Governor Snooki, and the Reverend Mrs. Demint as the biggest embarrassment to the State of South Carolina in at least a half-decade or so.

And the good Senator is showing the true depth of his fiercely independent, firebrand gumption by standing up to those evil banks, using the federal bankruptcy laws to defy their insistence on his paying back his debts. No Wall Street sellout here, by gosh!

I’m already celebrating his next reelection, and his near-guaranteed future success in South Carolina politics. One can only hope that he someday gets his own much-deserved opportunity to shout down President Satan during a public address.

Yee, haw!

sc is on wrong path December 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm

OMG that was the funniest thing I read all week, Tetley. I just spit my orange juice out of my nose I was laughing so hard. I actually have seen Bright and Bryant (his idiotic twin from Anderson) in sub committee meetings. They play off of each other like two no direction legislative nut jobs. They then yuk it up with each other and continue on with their mutual admiration society. The level of playschool hour rises to the level of sesame street…but then again we best not mention that because it might be construed as the big bad federal government trying to tear down the liberties and freedom of the people of SC. LOL Bunch of nut jobs and so, so embarrassing to this wonderful state.

Tetley December 29, 2012 at 1:55 am

Well, SC, stay the course. Remember that Senator Bright, who champions SC’s right and responsibility to print our own currency and make our own light bulbs, has the two most currently important endorsements in SC politics- our own young Will, who almost single-handedly snared the Governorship for the Tea Party- and Governor Snooki herself. Mark my words, this young man is going to *be somebody*…

sc is on wrong path December 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Tetley, I agree with you, sadly. I suppose the days of cross-the-aisle collegiality in the SC legislature long ended with Gov. Campbell. Gone are the days when cooperation and compromise were words of honor meant for the state’s best interests. Those words have become the kiss of death to anyone in any public office who wants to be reasonable. Reasonableness has been twisted by largely the Tea Party but also by some on the left. Reasonable people are now called traitors, radicals, haters of American values, and out of touch with “traditional values.” They have contorted and perverted their fringe ideology as the new mainstream – and I mean Tea Party and far left liberals. However, what we did see in the last election is that the mainstream seems to be a bit tired of this and rejected both extremes. Tea Party lost seats as did liberals to more mainstream folks. The exception is unfortunately SC where we seem to still cling to paranoia and fear mongering. Bright is absolutely the most idiotic person in the Senate if not the entire SC Statehouse. I know because I have seen him in action in-person, in committee meetings, tv, print, and his stupidity is unending. God help us.

Sailor December 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm

The general consensus seems to be that Senator Bright isn’t too bright!

Nancy December 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I am glad someone has the courage to define it “Republican – perhaps the most sanctimonious moralizer in a legislative body loaded with holier-than-thou hypocrites”

sc is on wrong path December 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Nancy, I am a Republican…the kind that existed before George W. He and idiots forward polarized this country into a state of paralysis. Anyone who wants to compromise, walk across the aisle or meet someone half-ways is viewed as a traitor…as I mentioned. Being a statesman and a noble elected official long ago was heaped upon the roadside pile of doing the right thing. It is all about making sure you never vote for taxes, against military assault weapons (because we know they are vital for home protection and hunting), etc. But then again, I thought Republicans were against legislating morality and intrusive government regulation….abortion laws, civil unions, contraception, trans-vaginal exams for women etc. wait, aren’t those personal liberties and personal issues not affecting others?

Nancy December 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

@SC on wrong path – seems we have something in common. I have been a Republican since my early 25 or so years, and while I typically still vote that way, I no longer consider myself a Republican. I am an Independent, maybe even a right leaning Libertarian? Who know, with the labels today? I did however, stand in line for 3 – 3 1/2 hours to vote for Ross Perot. The Republican Party I see today is not the party I signed up for.

sc is on wrong path December 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Nancy, I am with you. Republicans were the party of Lincoln and for bringing people together, not splintering. I am a true Southerner, born in Charleston and proud. Lincoln did not punish the South, he brought them back in as Americans, helped to heal, and reached across to work together. There is no semblance in that in ANY Republican I see today except people like Olympia Snowe types and others. She in fact quit the US Senate because of the politics of divisiveness. The filibuster has been used over 200 times in recent years and before that only a handful of times. Politics on the far right have defined the Republican party and placed fear in anyone who hopes to compromise and reach across to meet a man/woman halfway. It is pathetic and that is not what we elected people to do in Washington or Columbia. Senator Bright is (and I know this personally from seeing him countless times at the Statehouse in action) the definition of idiot in Websters!!!!

Nancy December 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

@SC is on wrong path. I am actually a northerner (though barely) as you know VA/WV split on the issue of slavery. WV was a very Democratic state at the time I left it, 19 years old. I have never looked back and spent my remaining years living mostly in the south. Interestingly, WV is now a very RED state, when it left it was a very BLUE state. The landscape of politics is definitely changing – while most people sleep. As for Sen. Bright, at this point I “believe” he is the only reasonable endorsement that Gov. Haley has made, but that yet to be determined. Time will tell the tale. I love TEA Party “core values” but I detest the power grab, and I equally detest the way the Republican party uses wedge issues to divide the people. Yes, I realize the left does the same thing, and much more effectively I might add. Maybe, because they aren’t so pretentious? I don’t know the answers, but I am certainly seeking them out, one by one…

Booyah December 31, 2012 at 7:14 am

“We need a Federal Constitutional Amendment (I realized it will never be ratified by S.C., but those in the saner states will) to ban high volume magazines. Period. ”

That’s not what Constitutional Amendments are for. The Constitution and Bill of Rights define the legal rights of the people.

BTW anyone who is not deterred by laws against murder won’t care about modding existing mags or simply getting multiple smaller mags and swapping them out.

The real problem is mental defectives. There is no treatment for mental illness which matters because crazies don’t take meds. The old way of locking them up and throwing away the key was much better. It was also expensive.

sc is on wrong path December 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Locking people up and throwing away the key is a close-minded method of treatment. Yes, tracking is the key and diagnosis at and early age, parents involved with teachers, schools, and medical professionals. Making sure we know the signs before someone goes and shoots up a school, mall, church etc is critical but catching it. Reactionary attitudes of just throwing someone away in a room, cell or prison and forgetting about them is not the values which made this country great. It also is not the most fiscally responsible track to take. Parents, communities, churches, civic organizations and the like have a responsibility to look for the signs just like crime or corruption. Responsible citizens and not reactionary methods save lives, money, and protect personal liberties. If Adam Lanza’s case was known, teachers would have informed counselors, then administrators, doctors, a database for potential at-risk youth, and perhaps redirect him to a treatment before it went over the edge. At a minimum he MIGHT have been helped if he received proper treatment. Police and SWAT teams rushing in guns drawn after the shots have been fired and people lay dead is too late. It is just like good health care. If you go to the doctor regularly, you get screened for high blood pressure, other conditions, dental visits prevent your teeth from rotting out, developing more serious conditions…that is preventative treatment. Waiting until you have a need for quadruple by-pass surgery or eight root canals and 85k in medical/dental bills is not the answer…one is preventative the other reactive. Ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure. Works for almost every scenario….

Nancy January 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

WTG @SC is on wrong path, my thoughts exactly!

George Bush July 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

This guy is a major league wacko bird. He also wants the state of South Carolina to have it’s own currency.


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