U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The South Carolina Open Carry with Permit bill, HB 3094, was amended in the Senate. The House has now concurred in an 83 to 34 vote. The bill will be sent to Governor McMaster, who has indicated he will sign the bill.
South Carolina has been one of only five states which ban the open carry of loaded handguns in most public places. The other four states are: California, Illinois, New York, and Florida.
There have been several serious efforts, including court cases, to restore open carry to Florida. The right to open carry handguns in Florida was lost during the Jim Crow era, in order to disarm black people. In 1941, a judge opined about the passage of an 1893 Florida law:
[T]he Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white .citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population. . .
South Carolina HB 3094 is likely to be signed into law in the next week or two. If that happens, only four states will ban the open carry of handguns in most public places.
HB 3094 had amendments added in the Senate to incrementally move toward Constitutional Carry in South Carolina. One of the more important amendments eliminated the $50 fee for a carry permit in South Carolina. When Constitutional Carry bills are considered in the future, the impact on funding will no longer be a consideration.
Another amendment to the bill made South Carolina a Second Amendment sanctuary state. From the bill:
(1) no public funds of this State, or any political subdivision of this State, shall be allocated for the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any executive order, or directive issued by the President of the United States or an act of the United States Congress that contradicts the provisions of this act relating to Constitutional Carry, or that otherwise regulates the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories if passed after January 1, 2021; and
(2) no personnel or property of this State, or any political subdivision of this State, shall be allocated to the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any executive order, or directive issued by the President of the United States that contradicts the provisions of this act relating to Constitutional Carry, or that regulates the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunitions, or firearm accessories if passed after January 1, 2021.
A third amendment changed the wording of Section 16-23-420. The amendment extends the legal right to store firearms in locked vehicles in secured containers, such as the glove compartment, closed console, trunk, or separately secured closed container on college or university property. The section formerly only applied to people with permits. When HB3094 becomes law, the section will apply to everyone, gaining the right to have a firearm in a vehicle without a permit.
These are significant, incremental steps toward Constitutional Carry in South Carolina.
The passage of HB 3094 will be celebrated by Second Amendment supporters across the United States. It reduces the number of states which flagrantly violate the right to keep and bear arms, by banning the open carry of handguns, from five to four.
There are now 20 states with Constitutional Carry. Four states have already joined the Constitutional Carry club in 2021. Both Texas and Louisiana are in play, and may restore Constitutional Carry this year.
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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.