By Sarita Chourey
South Carolinians can be sure of one thing as they assess the two major-party contenders for governor: They are not coming for your guns.
On Monday, Republican gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley and Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen jockeyed for dominance as the more pro-gun candidate.
"Few things are as clearly defined as the right of individual Americans to own and use firearms," Haley said in a statement accompanying her Gun Owners of America endorsement.
"I hold a concealed weapons permit myself, and as governor, I will continue to fight against any government infringement on the Second Amendment," she said.
Sheheen said that he owns a gun, leads the S.C. Sportsmen's Caucus and has ties to the National Rifle Association.
"I have repeatedly worked with the NRA to protect the gun ownership rights of South Carolinians," Sheheen said in a statement. "There is no candidate that is a stronger supporter of Second Amendment rights and as governor, I will make sure the rights of citizens to own guns are never infringed."
Neither candidate highlighted a specific threat to the public's right to own firearms.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans may have guns for self-defense anywhere they live, and that state and local authorities cannot interfere. The decision was aimed at the Chicago handgun ban, opening up the possibility of lawsuits across the country.
A law signed by President Obama to allow licensed gun owners to carry loaded firearms into national parks went into effect this year.