Known as the "Subversive Activities Registration Act," Title 23, Chapter 29 of the South Carolina Code of Laws requires that, "Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him."
FITSNews, a South Carolina web site, ridiculed the law in an anonymous post.
"In the long and storied history of utterly retarded legislation in South Carolina, we may have finally found the legal statute that takes the cake for sheer stupidity, which we think you'll agree is saying something."
The state charges a $5 filing fee per organization. The required form can be found at the Secretary of State's web site and requires respondents to check "yes" or "no" after the following question:
"Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina or any political division thereof?
If yes, please outline the fundamental beliefs. If applicable, attach a copy of the bylaws or minutes of meetings from the last year."
Punishment for violating the law includes a maximum of $25,000 and/or 10 years in prison.
This isn't the first law in South Carolina requiring a criminal, or someone who intends to commit a crime, to voluntarily cooperate with the state. South Carolina is one of several states that also tries to tax marijuana and other illegal drugs.