By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Constitutional Carry is gaining momentum in the states.
Kansas recently passed legislation making it the sixth state to have constitutional carry (where people who may legally own guns have the right to carry them openly or concealed). Mississippi passed a bill characterized as 90% constitutional carry, and a bill is pending in Maine that has majority support in the legislature, and likely support of the governor.
The South Carolina bill, H3025, recently passed the second read in the South Carolina House, 90-18. It still has to pass a third read, but amendments on the third read are required to be unanimous. From the facebook page of one of the legislators who authored the amendment:
Please join me in saying thank you to the 90 members of the South Carolina House of Representatives who today, by a vote of 90 to 18, gave second reading to the Clemmons, Yow, Hixon South Carolina Second Amendment Empowerment Act (H3025), with an amendment by Rep Mike Pitts and myself to authorize permitless concealed carry by every South Carolinian who can legally purchase a handgun! The bill, as now amended, allows SC CWP holders to carry in 27 states (instead of the current 20) Including GA 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! The bill awaits third reading in the House next Tuesday and then passes to the Senate for consideration. Thank you to every member of the SC House who supports the Second Amendment!
This is a permitless carry bill instead of a constitutional carry bill, because it would allow concealed carry without a permit, but not open carry. The bill also expands reciprocity to all other states' concealed carry permits. South Carolina is one of only six states that prohibit open carry. It is likely that Texas will be removed from that short list this year.
From the bill:
“(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:
Governor Haley said that she would sign a constitutional carry bill, so she would presumably sign a partial reform such as this one. From a thestate.com:
COLUMBIA, SC — S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday that she backs a proposal that would make it legal for most South Carolinians to carry guns – concealed or in the open – without a permit or the training that the state currently requires.
It is unknown if the bill will be able to survive legislative gymnastics in the Senate. Constitutional carry has been introduced in previous years by State Senator Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, but has been killed in committee, then, and this year, by Senator Larry Martin R-Pickens. By being passed in the house, it might be possible to circumvent the legislative power of Martin and his committee. It might not be necessary, as the bill does not allow open carry, which offends Senator Martin. From WLTX about the previous constitutional carry bill:
“You can carry a weapon openly if this bill is adopted and I'm offended by that,” said committee chair Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens).
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.
If the bill passes and is signed into law, it will create a new category of state; one where you do not need a permit to carry concealed, but are not allowed to carry openly.
Lets call it “Permitless Carry”
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
UPDATE: 11/6/2015 From what we can see, the H. 3025 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/29/15 and to a subcommittee on 5/6/15, but saw no further action before the South Carolina legislature adjourned adjourned “sine die” (indefinitely). Not being familiar with the South Carolina legislature, we don't know whether they plan to convene in 2016 but, presuming not (which sine die would imply), the bill appears to be dead. ~ AmmoLand H/T GRNC