Something big is about to happen in South Carolina, and no, it’s not the GOP primary where President Donald Trump is expected to blow the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley, out of the water, and possibly out of the race altogether. Instead, the big news in South Carolina is that the state is very near to enacting a permitless carry bill that would protect every adult citizen’s right to bear arms. Alexander Thompson of the Post and Courier reports:
The S.C. Senate passed a controversial House bill that would allow any adult without a felony to carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit.
Permitless carry, dubbed “constitutional carry” by supporters, would make obtaining a concealed weapons permit — and the training and background checks that come with it — optional while also lowering the age to carry a handgun in public from 21 to 18 and allowing gun owners to store their handgun anywhere in their car.
It would still be illegal to carry a weapon in gun-free zones like schools and courthouses or in a business with a gun-free placard displayed.
Police chiefs strongly oppose permitless carry, believing it would make civilians and police officers less safe. But supporters of the bill believe the public safety concerns are overblown and that expanding the rights of law-abiding gun owners is essential in a gun-friendly state.
Twenty-seven Republicans and one Democrat voted for the bill Feb. 1, while 13 Democrats, an independent and one Republican opposed it.
The bill also includes provisions that implement escalating penalties for convicted felons in possession of firearms or ammunition, ranging up to five years of imprisonment for a first offense to 10 to 30 years for a third offense.
Enhanced penalties for felons in possession have been a major priority of Gov. Henry McMaster and law enforcement groups for years.
By pairing the enhanced penalties with permitless carry, supporters of permitless carry managed to get most law enforcement groups to stay neutral on the overall bill.
The bill now goes back to the S.C. House of Representatives and may require a conference committee before it goes to the governor, who said in a Feb. 1 statement he would sign it.
Supporters declared victory.
Action Line: If it enacts the new law, South Carolina will become America’s twenty-eighth state to protect the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm for self-defense. Some other recent additions to that list were Nebraska and Florida. Is your state on the list? If not, it may be time to look for a better America. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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