As of April 5, 2023, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in South Carolina advanced constitutional carry legislation, bringing the state closer to becoming the 27th state in the US to adopt constitutional carry.
South Carolina State Rep. Bobby Cox (R) introduced House Bill 3594 to pass constitutional carry in early February. On February 23, the South Carolina State House passed the bill with an 87-26 vote.
The Post and Courier reported on April 5 that constitutional carry advanced from the Senate Judiciary subcommittee with a 3-2 vote and is now moving forward to the full Judiciary Committee.
SC House votes 90-30 to give second reading — essentially passing — to a bill allowing people 18+ in SC to carry loaded, concealed weapons without a permit or training. The “constitutional carry” bill will head to Senate after a perfunctory third reading in the House tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/WK5YmGnzsF
— Mary Green (@MaryGreenNews) February 22, 2023
On April 6, Breitbart News contacted Cox for further information regarding the constitutional carry bill. Cox commented, “The Senate should not delay in passing H. 3954. The House version was a collaborative effort between 2A groups and law enforcement to restore our constitutional freedom and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
Currently, there are 26 states that have implemented constitutional carry laws, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
If the constitutional carry legislation is passed in South Carolina, the state’s pro-Second Amendment profile is likely to significantly increase. South Carolina currently ranks 23 in Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners, indicating that the state has room for improvement in terms of its pro-gun stance.
Constitutional carry has been a successful movement in the Second Amendment arena, and South Carolina’s adoption of it would further bolster its reputation as a pro-gun state.
Constitutional carry is a legal provision that permits individuals who are legally allowed to possess firearms to carry handguns, either openly or concealed, without a state permit.
This means that state law does not require individuals to have a permit to carry handguns.
Those opposed to the legislation argue that gun owners need professional training before carrying a firearm.
During a Senate Judiciary subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, police chiefs from Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Conway and Anderson expressed their concerns about the proposed bill.
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock told the committee, “As law enforcement, we train, and we train, and we train some more, and we still make mistakes. With this legislation, we are asking the public no longer to be required to train and expect the same results.”
Additionally, the chiefs noted that the bill doesn’t address mental health concerns, and they fear it could lead to unintended consequences.
Those in favor of the bill argue that they should not be required to obtain permission from the government to exercise their Second Amendment rights.