Columbia, SC (AP) - South Carolina's governor says the state can't carry out an execution planned for next month because it doesn't have the drugs needed for lethal injection.

"The reason we don't have the drugs, despite tough efforts to get them, is because the companies that make them, the distributors who distribute them and the pharmacies who may have to compound them don't want to be identified. They are afraid that their names will be made known and they don't want anything to do with it for fear of retribution or exposure of themselves, their families, their businesses. All (are) perfectly good reasons," McMaster said.

Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday that lawmakers need to pass a law to keep the providers of lethal injection drugs secret so executions can begin again.

The lack of execution drugs will spare for now the life of 52-year-old Bobby Wayne Stone, who is on death row for killing a Sumter County sheriff's deputy in 1996. His execution date had been set for Dec. 1.

South Carolina primarily uses lethal injection. The state's supply of one of the three drugs it uses expired in 2013. Officials haven't been able to get more, with companies unwilling to sell drugs used for executions.

"Anytime we start a conversation with a company that makes the drugs, a pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy or anybody that would be involved in it they ask how they would be protected and we told them (that) there is no 'shield' law, so we are unable to get the drugs and we're kind of in an interesting place right now with what we are going to do," Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said.

Inmates can also opt for electrocution, but few do.