What did make it in time to be considered for passage this year? A bill that would make it legal for residents to carry guns – concealed or openly – without a permit or training. It passed the House and is being considered in the Senate this week. McMaster said he would sign it if it reaches his desk.Governor McMaster has said that he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill if it passes. From postandcourier.com:
COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday he would sign a law granting open, permit-less carry of weapons if it passes the General Assembly.Bills designed to impose more infringements on the exercise of Second Amendment rights in South Carolina have not been popular. A bill to increase the wait to exercise Second Amendment rights failed to make the legislative deadline.
"Gov. McMaster appreciates the House’s hard work on this bill, believes it is constitutional and will sign it if it reaches his desk,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes said.
In 2016, the Senate stopped a Constitutional Carry bill supported by Senator Lee Bright. Bright lost his primary and is no longer in the South Carolina legislature. One of the Senators who voted against the bill last year, is a sponsor of S. 449 this year. 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.
The Constitutional Carry bills in South Carolina remove the restrictions on both open and concealed carry of handguns. South Carolina is one of only five states that ban the open carry of holstered handguns in most public places.
Constitutional Carry, or very close approximations, were the law in 11 states at the beginning of 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, New Hampshire and North Dakota have joined the club. We will find out if South Carolina will join the club in the next few weeks.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.