The Easter weekend shootout at Columbia Centre is the latest in a long line of mass shootings in gun-free zones.
The shopping center explicitly prohibits firearms and illegal weapons. Of course, the mall’s code of conduct didn’t keep the accused gunman, a gang member linked to a 17-year-old’s murder, from packing heat on the premises.
Authorities believe the incident was gang-related. After allegedly shooting ten people, the defendant, Jewayne Price, is out on house arrest. Plus, if he posts bond, he’ll be allowed to travel for work. (RELATED: Easter Weekend Mass Shooting Suspect Released on $25,000 Bond)
Price’s lawyer, State Representative Todd Rutherford (D), said the defendant acted in self-defense and only fired when two rival gang members shot at him. Rutherford’s words are unlikely to comfort Price’s reported victims.
They also do not rectify the injustice that law-abiding gun owners experience when they don’t have the chance to defend themselves and innocent bystanders from criminals. (RELATED: As Gun Sales Soared, the Number of Violent Crimes Committed With Guns Plummeted)
While the Columbia Centre’s rules are disappointing, if not surprising, the City of Columbia did recently repeal a litany of gun-control measures, albeit after losing a court battle with South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
The Post and Courier reported at the time:
Columbia, with the backing of then-Mayor Steve Benjamin, passed a series of gun ordinances in 2019 making it illegal to possess firearms within 1,000 feet of a school; allowing gun seizures from people under an extreme-risk protection order, commonly known as a “red flag” law; and making a rule that added buildings where homemade firearms known as “ghost guns” are constructed to be subject to the city’s nuisance laws.
Wilson sued the city in 2020, arguing that state law preempted local authority on the gun regulations. A Richland County judge sided with Wilson in 2021.
The City Council gave initial approval March 15 to roll back the gun rules in a split vote. Mayor Daniel Rickenmann and council members Aditi Bussells, Howard Duvall and Joe Taylor voted to repeal. Council members Tina Herbert, Ed McDowell and Will Brennan voted against taking the ordinances off the books.
In explaining the decision before the vote, Rickenmann noted multiple times the court decision and that the city can’t enforce the measures.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.