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.

  • 10 thoughts on “Constitutional Carry Still Has A Chance in South Carolina

    1. 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 bill would allow anyone to do so . Passing it would surely keep me at home more often. Passing it would put all our police officers in harms way knowing that most people with a gun have absolutely no training.

      1. 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 Holes in a Paper Target ,is far from
        the Reality Split Second Decision to Take a Life !
        My Experience is far more Humans Will Freeze UP just as Hunters have Buck Fever, Until they Develop The
        The Inner Instinct through practice that Human’s have to Survive be it Defense, or Providing Food !
        I’m Centrally not Advocating ( Practice on Humans ) Lets be Intelligent in Thinking and Reasoning !
        Mr. Traher, In the event You decide to Hide at Home and let the ” Bad Guy Win ” That is Your Choice .
        Your statement ” Police in Harms Way ) That is the Reality of the job,same as Firemen,EMT,Military, etc/etc.
        Sir in closing,if I was a Policeman or occupation listed above I rather see You are OPEN CARRY a Fire Arm
        rather than a Legal CWP .
        Regards
        Scott Buchanan

    2. 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 FIREARM EXPERTS !
      THE 2ND AMENDMENT, HAS GIVEN THIS RIGHT, SO DEAL WITH OUR RIGHTS ,AND ADHERE TO LAW !
      REGARDS
      SCOTT BUCHANAN

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

      1. @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.

    5. 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?

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