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Menges Op Ed: Claims of Senator Sean Bennett's Alleged Sellout on 2nd Amendment Are Baseless

This is the kind of garbage politics that needs to be called out. Accurate and precise targeting of an office holders position on an issue is legitimate. I’ve done that many times. But charges that are distortions and baseless need to be called out by people of integrity.

I saw this come to my mailbox and I’ve seen this posted and sponsored on Fb and could not remain silent. Sean Bennett is not only my state Senator, I consider him my friend. I’m going to refute this because I of all people, have facts to share for anyone interested in the truth. In the ten years that I’ve known Sean we’ve not agreed on every piece of legislation. Who does? As a matter of fact we’ve had some areas of total disagreement. But calling Sean a “sellout” on the 2nd Amendment could not be further from the truth.

Let me give you the full story to prove this is a smear job by people with no integrity or people that simply don’t do their homework. It was ten years ago this past January that I (as a non legislator) rewrote the South Carolina Concealed Carry statute that would correct the flaw in our statute that prohibited concealed carry in any establishment that served alcohol.

It was I that approached (then) newly elected Senator Sean Bennett and asked him if he would introduce my bill. Sean and I met and we discussed what I was trying to accomplish with the proposed change that I wrote.

He asked me to give him a couple weeks to look it over and think It through. To his credit, I got a call from him a week later telling me that he would introduce my bill. I thanked him and promised him that if he not only introduced the bill but would actually work to champion it, I would do the grassroots work outside the General Assembly and marshall the forces in the state 2nd Amendment “community”.

The NRA quickly dubbed our bill (S308) “Restaurant Carry” and news spread across the nation. Sean was absolutely true to his word and championed the bill in the South Carolina Senate, working his rear end off to get it passed. I was there on Feb 11th, 2014, when Governor Haley signed our bill into law.

This is why I can speak with authority that the idea that Sean is a “sellout” to the 2nd Amendment is flat out false and should be rejected by any honest person. I deeply believe we need to pass Constiturional Carry in SC. I’ll not be a part of doing it this way. Some folks may not care for me standing up for Sean in this area, so be it…let the chips fall where they may. I care about my integrity and could not keep silent and watch Sean take this hit that simply is not true.

Picture below is the author Bob Menges with former Gov Nikki Haley at the bill signing:

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