“We have a law,” AKTI lobbyist Palmer Freeman announced late in the day on Wednesday, June 25,
AKTI’s bill S968 cleared its final hurdle when both houses of the South Carolina legislature voted to
overturn the veto of Governor Mark Sanford. A 2/3 majority vote of members present in both houses was
required for the override.
Since the bill originated in the Senate, the 34 Senators present (of 46 total) started the process. They
voted 33-1 to override the veto. Two hours later, 105 Representatives present (of 124 total) registered
their collective voice with a 93-12 vote to overturn the veto.
The bill becomes law virtually immediately. Here are the pertinent amended sections:
Section 16-23-405 of the 1976 Code is amended to read: … 'weapon' means firearm (rifle, shotgun,
pistol, or similar device that propels a projectile through the energy of an explosive), a blackjack, a metal
pipe or pole, or any other type of device, or object which may be used to inflict bodily injury or death.
(Removes the phrase … “knives with blades longer than two inches”.)
Section 16-23-460 of the 1976 Code is amended to read: …
(C) The provisions of this section also do not apply to rifles, shotguns, dirks, slingshots, metal
knuckles, knives, or razors unless they are used with the intent to commit a crime or in furtherance of a
crime." (AKTI added “knives” to this list to reinforce removing the knife reference in 16-23-405.)
The governor’s veto, as he explained in his veto letter, was not prompted by the knife provision of the bill
that now makes it legal to carry a knife with a blade longer than two inches in South Carolina. The
governor expressed concern that a last-minute firearms carry amendment for lawmakers and state
employees was a demonstration of “self-interest” on their part. He saw his veto as another way to send
a message that he didn’t like the $6 million expenditure on statehouse security equipment that was
already nearly completed.