Permitless carry laws, also known as constitutional carry, are widespread across the nation. South Carolina has recently voted on a bill related to this, joining other states in the trend. Nonetheless, the Palmetto State is also providing something significant for all law-abiding residents.
The South Carolina Senate approved The South Carolina Constitutional Carry/Second Amendment Preservation Act of 2023 on February 1. This legislation underwent a two-week discussion in the state’s upper chamber before being ratified. The extended deliberation stemmed from certain Republicans’ efforts to eliminate a training prerequisite embedded within the bill.
In the Southern state, individuals wishing to openly carry firearms presently must undergo a training course to acquire their permit. The proposed legislation aims to eliminate these permit and training obligations. Although residents could still opt to obtain a concealed carry permit, open-carry would no longer necessitate it. However, firearms would remain prohibited in designated areas such as places of worship, schools, courthouses, and similar places.
Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (R) opposed the elimination of the training prerequisite. Instead, he proposed an amendment to provide complimentary firearms training sessions administered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. These classes would be conducted at least twice monthly in each county.
The amendment also encompassed a heightened penalty for individuals carrying a weapon in prohibited areas without a concealed carry permit. Additionally, there will be an outreach campaign aimed at informing residents about these intensified penalties.
Massey’s amendment seemed to have had the desired effect as the bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 28-15. One Democrat supported the legislation while one Republican opposed it. The bill is now returning to the state House where lawmakers must concur with the amendments before it can be sent to Governor Henry McMaster (R) for final approval.