Will South Carolina Be Next In Recognizing Permitless Concealed Carry?

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Published on: May 18, 2015

My home State of South Carolina has passed a bill in the House that would recognize the God-given right of its citizens to lawfully keep and bear their arms concealed in public without a permit. By a vote of 90-18, H3025 passed the SC House in April.

South Carolina is one of several states to be advancing permitless carry legislation to protect the rights of its citizens. Kansas recently passed similar legislation and became the sixth state to recognize constitutional carry.

Permitless carry recognizes citizens’ rights to carry concealed, but fails to recognize their right to carry open, as constitutional carry does.    

The bill reads in part:

(A)    It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law: with the intent to use the handgun unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person shall not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of the handgun, whether it is loaded or unloaded.

(B)    No person shall carry a handgun off of any real property the person occupies as a resident, owner, or lessee if the person is under twenty-one years of age or carries the handgun in a manner that openly exposes it to common observation, with the following exceptions:

According to Alan Clemmons, the representative who authored the bill, “The bill, as now amended, allows SC CWP holders to carry in 27 states (instead of the current 20), including Georgia and opens the door to recognizing every state’s CWP. Additionally, the amendment authorizes every law abiding South Carolinian, who can legally purchase a firearm, to carry it concealed without a permit!”

Well, that is good news, especially the fact that Georgia would also recognize South Carolina’s current CWP.

The bill now is before a Senate committee. Previously, Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) had introduced constitutional carry legislation. However, it was never adopted. Part of the problem resided in Republicans, who continue to be led by their feelings to infringe on the rights of the people.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Larry Martin (R-Pickens) spoke with WLTX about the previous constitutional carry legislation saying, “You can carry a weapon openly if this bill is adopted and I’m offended by that.”

Well, I’m offended that Senator Martin isn’t more offended about infringing on the rights of those he serves.

Senator Bright pointed out that only law abiding citizens would be the ones open carrying and then hit the nail on the head. “This is the right to self-defense,” Bright said. “We sit up here in this ivory tower here in the South Carolina Senate and decide who and who cannot defend themselves.”

Dean Weingarten believes that Senator Martin will be easy to go around since the bill has already passed the House. He writes:

If the bill goes to Martin’s committee, and he strips out the permitless carry provision, and then passes the bill, it would go to the House for concurrence; if the House disagrees, then the bill could go to a conference committee.   Members of the conference committee are appointed by the speaker of the House to a committee for the entire biennium. I do not know if the same applies to the Senate.

If the Senate insists upon its amendment, a message is sent to the House listing the names of three Senators appointed to a conference committee. The Speaker of the House then appoints three members of the House to a conference committee. The six members meet and try to reach an agreement. If they agree, their report is sent to both bodies for adoption.

This would allow the legislature to ‘work around’ a recalcitrant committee chairman.   That could happen if the leaders of the Senate and House both support the bill.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has said she backs the legislation and would sign it if presented to her.

Indeed, this is really unnecessary if elected officials had been observing the current law. The Second Amendment allows for absolutely zero laws to restrict arms of any type. The South Carolina Constitution also limits the state in that measure as well with the same language as the Second Amendment.

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