Trained SC gun owners could carry openly in public under bill lawmakers expect to pass

Trained SC gun owners could carry openly in public under bill lawmakers expect to pass

Amy Dillon, a firearms safety instructor and gun rights advocate, speaks in favor of an “open carry with training” bill at a S.C. House judiciary subcommittee hearing on Feb. 4, 2021. Jamie Lovegrove/Staff COLUMBIA — Trained gun owners in South Carolina could carry their weapons openly in public under a new bill that some top state lawmakers expect might pass as soon as this year. Some gun-rights supporters argue the “ open carry with training ” bill would be a sensible expansion without going as far as other advocates who prefer a “ constitutional carry ” measure, which would allow all South Carolinians to carry guns openly regardless of whether they have a permit. “This is an incremental step towards restoring our constitutional freedoms,” said state Rep. Bobby Cox, R-Greenville, the bill’s lead sponsor. Despite its politically conservative reputation, South Carolina is currently one of only five states that prohibits the open carrying of handguns for permit holders, along with California, Florida, New York and Illinois. The measure would maintain many of the limitations in place under state law, meaning gun owners would not be able to carry into businesses or private residences that do not want them. Guns would also still be prohibited in a number of other places, including courthouses, hospitals, police stations, prisons, election polling locations, schools, day care facilities or any other places where guns are restricted by federal law. But instead of being forced to conceal them elsewhere in public, gun owners with a […]

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