Constitutional Carry Still Has A Chance in South Carolina

By Dean Weingarten

South Carolina
South Carolina
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- H. 3930, a Constitutional Carry bill is on the move in South Carolina. On March 9th, it passed the Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee.

On 21 March, it passed the full committee with a vote of 15 to 7.  On Wednesday, April 5th, it passed the House. Last year a similar bill passed the House, but died in the Senate. From thepostandcourier.com:

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow residents to carry a gun, openly or concealed, without getting a weapons permit.

The controversial bill passed the chamber 64-46 after more than three hours of debate.

If approved by the Senate and signed into law, anyone who is legally allowed to buy a gun to do so without getting a state permit. The bill would keep the states concealed weapons permit program in place so South Carolinians could carry their guns in other states.

Here is a relevant section of the proposed legislation. The convention is that a strikethrough indicates text to be removed. Underlined text is text that is to be added.  From scstatehous.gov:

SECTION    2.    Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
“Section 16-23-20.    (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 must not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, use, or concealment of the handgun, whether it is loaded or unloaded.

Here is how it looks when the strikethru and underlining purposes are put into effect:

SECTION 2. Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

“Section 16-23-20. (A) It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, with the intent to use the handgun unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person must not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of the handgun, whether it is loaded or unloaded.

The requirement for an unlawful intent to prosecute the carry of a weapon is similar to Constitutional Carry law in Vermont and Arkansas. Self defense is lawful. Carrying a weapon for self defense would not be a violation of the law.

There are 27 Republicans in the Senate, and 18 Democrats. Mere numbers are not the entire story when it comes to passing legislation.  In 2016, the Constitutional Carry bill was bottled up and killed in a Senate subcommittee. Senator Katrina Frye Shealy (R) Lexington was one of the primary opponents. She is still on the Judiciary Committee, which is a likely place for the bill to be sent in the senate.

This year she is listed as a sponsor of SC S0449, which is a senate bill quite similar to H. 3930.  If she actually supports Constitutional Carry in 2017, it would be a significant change. In 2016, the only senator to vote for the Constitutional Carry bill was Senator Lee Bright. Senator Bright lost his primary in 2016, and is no longer in the senate.

The bill has a chance of passage. If it becomes law, South Carolina would join the Constitutional Carry club, increasing the number of states with Constitutional Carry to 14.  New Hampshire and North Dakota have already joined the club in 2017.

The South Carolina law would simultaneously decrease the states that routinely ban the open carry of holstered handguns from five to four, leaving only Florida, California, New York, and Illinois in that group. Florida is currently considering an open carry law, but the bill is bottled up in committee.

2017 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.

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    oldshooterThomas TraherScott BuchananJohn Hunterthomas traher Recent comment authors
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    Thomas Traher
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    Thomas Traher

    The second amendment refers to a well regulated militia which infers some form of training and backround check. My God most people know very little about guns or the associated safety issues. I have met many of them in cwp classes and they admit not knowing how to handle a gun or the associated laws and rules that go with that responsibility……What we have now works and at least gives the individual the basics of safety and responsibilty.

    oldshooter
    Guest
    oldshooter

    I am a strong proponent of as much training (and practice) as a firearm owner can get, and I think it should be ongoing over time as well. However, when the law MANDATES training to exercise a natural right, it is fundamentally, at least incipiently, tyrannical. When we allow the law to REQUIRE a specific type of training, we inevitably put our right to carry at political risk, since the training requirements can easily be made more strict by any subsequent anti-gun legislature. While, as I said, I strongly support training, I was also somewhat surprised to see the large… Read more »

    John Hunter
    Guest
    John Hunter

    When is the Senate scheduled to vote on this bill

    thomas traher
    Guest
    thomas traher

    I am involved with a cwp permit class and am sure every wannabe cowboy out there will obtain a gun without any training what so ever.. This means they will not know when they can use lethal force or if their shots are on targets that they are meant for. It is very easy to miss a target by as much as 5 feet from 15 feet away without training. Most selfdefense pistols have a very short barrel making it much harder to hit what you are aiming at. We all know people that should never use a gun. This… Read more »

    Scott Buchanan
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    Scott Buchanan

    Mr, Thomas Traher I certainly RESPECT your Rights to write Your Opinions,Thoughts and Concerns of Pending Open Carry Bill in the State of South Carolina . Question are you a CWP Instructor ?- or a Applicant ? Your “Wannabe Cowboy Out There” I would agree with you ,perhaps if we wait and see how the Final Bill is written Hopefully in Layman’s Language, Mr. Traher, if I might suggest ,Barrel length,at the 5 to 15 feet ,is the average and more than adequate for the average pistol and caliber for Self Defense. Training, and Range Practice is Certainly Important,However; Punching… Read more »

    Scott Buchanan
    Guest
    Scott Buchanan

    TO SC HOUSE ,SENATE SUBJECT: OPEN CARRY YOUR THINKING AND REASONING ,APPARENTLY BASED ON OBJECTIVE, SUBJECTIVE REASONING OF YOUR CONVICTIONS ,THIS IS NOT REPRESENTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE YOU REPRESENT. I MIGHT ADD THAT A CWP AND I HOLD CURRENT PERMIT, IS ENTIRELY TO EASY TO OBTAIN ! THE IGNORANCE OF PASSAGE CWP LAW, PRIOR WAS NEAR IMPOSSIBLE FOR AVERAGE CITIZEN TO OBTAIN ! OPEN CARRY IS OBJECTIVE THINKING, HOWEVER; THE LAW MUST BE CLEAR ,WRITTEN IN LAYMAN LANGUAGE ,BACK GROUND CHECKS,NO LONG GUNS, AS WELL A INTELLIGENT, DISCUSSION,OF A VARIETY OF ADVISORS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, MILITARY, AND ASSORTMENT OF… Read more »

    denis busby
    Guest
    denis busby

    When is the final vote on the open carry bill?

    oldshooter
    Guest
    oldshooter

    FYI, the similar “permitless carry” bill in the TX House of Representatives, HB1911, was also passed out of committee by a wide margin, and is now in the hands of the calendar folks. However, Rep. Joe Strauss, the House Speaker, has historically kept pro-gun bills from ever coming up for a vote in the full House, and it remains to be seen if he will try to do so again with HB1911. We can only hope not, and with the new interest and attention 2nd Amendment bills are getting, he may change his ways.

    roland smith
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    roland smith

    I don’t care what you do you will never stop the people intent on doing unlawful things with weapons they don’t need any ones permission to rob steal and kill. I’m 79 years old and I was taught fire arms safety by my father and I have never pointed a weapon at anyone. I have a number of weapons however because there are children in my home my weapons stay locked in a safe. We have some very stupid people in government so there is no telling where this bill will go.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @roland smith, You are entirely correct, brother! When Cain slew Able, he used the weapon at hand to do what he knew was wrong. Nothing stopped Cain.

    Scott Buchanan
    Guest
    Scott Buchanan

    ROLAND SMITH I AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENT AND YOUR SAFETY PROCEDURES , HOWEVER; THE REALITY IS ,IF YOUR HOME,IS BROKEN INTO ,REALITY STATES BY THE TIME YOU OPEN YOUR SAFE,SELECT A WEAPON LOADED OR UNLOADED ,TIME PASSED ,YOUR CHOICE TO GAMBLE ,I PRAY YOU MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE . ALSO A UNLOADED SELF DEFENSE, FIREARM IS AS USELESS AS A VEHICLE WITH NO GAS ! I AGREE WITH YOU GOVERNMENT ELECTED OFFICIALS FROM THE VERY BEGGING OF OUR COUNTRY FORMATION, , USE LITTLE THINKING AND REASONING IN USE OF SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE ! THEIR MAIN OBJECTIVE IS RE ELECTION,THROUGH RAISING… Read more »

    Johnny
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    Johnny

    I fully support constitutional carry. Even though I have a concealed permit, and will continue to have a permit, I believe anyone who is lawfully able to purchase a handgun has the right to carry said handgun without asking permission from a government agency. That is why it is called “CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY”. It appears that many of our legislators don’t understand the 2nd amendment…………or maybe they just can’t read?

    Scott Buchanan
    Guest
    Scott Buchanan

    JOHNNY
    TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH YOUR STATEMENT !

    I THINK THEY CAN READ , THE PROBLEM IS WORDING,FROM THE 2ND AMENDMENT THEN AND HOW IT’S
    DEFINED IN LEGAL WORDING FOR A LONG LONG TIME !
    I BELIEVE IN LAW TO HAVE ORDER,HOWEVER:; A CITIZEN THAT CANT COMPREHEND THE WORDING OF
    LAW WRITTEN FOR AND BY LAW /LAWYERS IN A LANGUAGE OF LEGALESE FOR ONLY THEIR BENEFIT,CANCELS OUT ( IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE )
    REGARDS
    SCOTT BUCHANAN

    Brian Driggers
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    Brian Driggers

    think you for your service sr.god bless you