Thirty three states allow the open carry of a handgun without a permit.
Twelve states allow the open carry of a handgun with a permit.
Five states do not allow the open carry of a handgun under any circumstances: California, New York, Illinois, Florida . . . and South Carolina.
Do you have family or friends that live in North Carolina, Tennessee or Georgia? Our Columbia lawmakers seem to believe that crossing that State line makes you a more responsible and competent citizen. Regardless of how you feel about the strategy of open carry, you should want to have the liberty to open carry just like citizens in forty five other states.
The truth is that, as well documented in Stephen Halbrook’s book, Securing Civil Rights, Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, the purpose of carry bans was directed in the Reconstruction period at the recently freed African American population. These laws were never really intended to apply to white people and were applied in a flagrantly discriminatory manner.
The lawmakers recently took down “the flag” from the Statehouse grounds as a symbolic condemnation of the institution of slavery in the U.S. in the nineteenth century. To be consistent, lawmakers should enact constitutional carry this session and thereby abolish another vestige of the Jim Crowe era.
Let’s call on our lawmakers to summon up the courage to act on their stated convictions and move South Carolina law into the modern era.