COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — With only three weeks left in the legislative session, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is again calling for increased criminal penalties for illegal gun possession.
McMaster wants the General Assembly to pass legislation to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.
“We have a revolving door in South Carolina,” he said Monday afternoon. “You have seen it — where a person will commit a crime, often a crime involving an illegal gun and they walk right out on low bond. You have them involved drugs, you have them involved in various assaults, and batteries, and murders, and all sorts of crimes from A to Z. And yet they walk out and do it again.”
The governor was joined by Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel at a news conference earlier this month to press lawmakers to fix the state’s broken bond system. It came just days after five people were shot during a so-called senior skip day event on an Isle of Palms beach.
“We know that 20% of the known criminals commit about 80% of the crimes,” he said. “I will challenge each of you to read the newspapers in the next few days and see if you don’t find another one who is out on bond — having committed even murder — and is charged again with a violent crime – usually with an illegal gun.”
In a tweet Monday afternoon, McMaster urged people to contact their legislators and tell them it’s time to act.
“Law enforcement needs help to close the revolving door and crack down on illegal guns,” he said.