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On Twitter, Gov. McMaster pushes General Assembly to act on illegal guns

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster took to Twitter Monday in an effort to steer the state’s general assembly to act on guns before the end of the session.

“The General Assembly has three weeks left in the legislative session to answer the calls of law enforcement and pass a law that will keep illegal guns out of the hands of violent criminals,” McMaster said on Twitter.

He then put out a call to action for South Carolinians.

“Contact your legislator and tell them it’s time to act,” McMaster said.

The call comes as the nation’s dealt with 173 mass shootings in 115 days this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That averages out to around 1.5 mass shootings per day. The most recent saw nine teenagers injured at a Texas prom after-party.

McMaster pushed for lawmakers to impose harsher penalties against those in possession of illegal guns on April 11 after four teenagers and a 28-year-old woman were injured in a shooting on an Isle of Palms beach.

A state Senate subcommittee heard on April 5 a bill that would have created new gun offenses and increased the penalties for people who illegally possess or sell guns to minors. That bill was not advanced by the subcommittee.

“We have a revolving door in South Carolina,” McMaster said in a video posted to Twitter. “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.”

While McMaster’s push remains focused on illegal guns and bond reform others in the state house are asking for more.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard (D-Charleston) sent a letter to McMaster on Monday asking him to call for a “special session” to take up gun violence issues after the regular session ends.

Gilliard said the special session should focus on an assault weapons ban, safety, illegal gun purchases and the neglect of gun owners.

“Our goal should be to come up with solutions that would help resolve most of these pressing issues,” Gilliard said.

A similar special session was called in Tennessee after the general assembly in that state failed to take up any gun control bills following a mass shooting at a Nashville school.

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