COLUMBIA — The state Attorney General’s office says South Carolina law already allows its prisons agency to keep secret information on any company or pharmacist providing execution drugs.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said Wednesday the opinion may help him obtain the drugs needed to execute a prisoner. But Stirling says he will continue to pursue a new law guaranteeing secrecy for the suppliers, saying that’s the ultimate protection. Bills that Stirling advocated this year stalled in both the House and Senate.

State law already provides secrecy for members of an execution team. Assistant Attorney General Brendan McDonald said in an opinion dated Monday that the phrase must be broadly interpreted to include suppliers of drugs needed to execute a prisoner, especially since the state can’t secure them.

The legal opinion is non-binding.