South Carolina

Bill Would Allow South Carolinians to Carry Guns Without Concealed Weapons Permits

by ROBERT KITTLE ,  |  published on December 16, 2012

A bill prefiled in the South Carolina Senate would allow adults who can legally buy guns to carry them without having concealed weapons permits.

“The Second Amendment says that our rights to have firearms cannot be infringed upon and that’s what the federal government is doing right now,” says Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, the sponsor of the bill. He and Sen. Kevin Bryant co-sponsored the same bill last year, but it never made it out of committee.

To get a concealed weapons permit, you have to complete a training class of at least eight hours. It has to include:
-information on handgun laws and laws about the use of deadly force.
-information about handgun safety and use.

-information about the proper storage of handguns, emphasizing reducing the possibility of injury to a child.
-actually firing the gun in the presence of an instructor.

The South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association opposed the bill last year and will fight it again. Executive director Jeff Moore says, “We believe that that is the wrong thing to do simply because we believe a person ought to be trained on it to a minimal degree so that they have some understanding of how the weapon operates, how it works. And they need to know the rules for carrying them. Where can you carry them? Where can you not carry them?”

Sen. Bright says he’s just trying to move back to the Constitution. The Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about requiring a permit.

But Moore says, “If you read the Second Amendment, it talks about a militia being necessary for the safety and security of the state. At that point in time, the American army was very small and the country literally relied on citizen militias for protection. And the most powerful weapon a person could own, outside a cannon, was a single-shot, muzzle-loading musket.”

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