WILL 2017 BE THE YEAR THAT SOUTH CAROLINA ALLOWS CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY?
Lawmakers have introduced two bills thus far that would establish “constitutional carry” in South Carolina, H.B. 3700 and S. 449. The purpose of these bills would be to allow anyone not otherwise prohibited by State or federal law to carry a handgun, openly or concealed.
Exceptions include the familiar locations such as school grounds, courthouses, polling places, and so forth, as well as property posted with a sign banning carry.
Undoubtedly, like the concealed weapons permit statutes some decades back and then “stand your ground” laws, constitutional carry legislation has become a national trend. The National Review cites a report that the number of constitutional carry states will reach 17 or 18 by the end of this year.
Will South Carolina be one of these States?
Until last week, we might have assumed that we could at least count on the South Carolina House to support our cause. The House passed a bill that would have allowed permitless carry in 2015. But after last week, we cannot be so sure.
H.B. 3700 is still in the House Judiciary Committee and the rumor is that the Chair, Rep. Delleney wants to kill the bill in committee. A vote to recall the bill from his committee failed. You can find who voted on the measure by visiting our webpage.
The question really comes down to what Republicans (frequently former Democrats, e.g., Rep. Delleney) want for South Carolina. In the last session it was a Senate Republican, Katrina Shealy, who secured the defeat of a bill that would have allowed concealed carry without a permit.
Then Judiciary Committee Chair Larry Martin referred the bill to a subcommittee consisting of two Republicans, Lee Bright and Katrina Shealy, and one Democrat, Brad Hutto. Shealy sided with the Democrat against Bright and effectively killed the bill.
Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg was quoted as saying “It does away with the background check and training and other requirements by allowing anybody inSouth Carolina to carry.” Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, said, “If you’re going to carry a gun, I think you need to be trained to carry it.”
This session, Senator Shealy has joined Senators Shane Martin, Corbin, Rice, and Verdin in sponsoring s. 449 one of the constitutional carry bills now pending. What a difference an election cycle makes.
Is South Carolina ready to follow her sister States and allow constitutional carry?
The "Republicans" hold the answer. Take the time to contact chairman of the Judiciary committee Rep. Delleney Gregdelleney@schouse.gov and Sen. Luke Rankin Lukerankin@schouse.gov and tell them what you think.
Other members of the House Judiciary Committee are listed here:
Remember, they only enjoy their office at your pleasure. The last Presidential election demonstrated that the voice of the people will be heard if they care deeply enough. Do you? We think you do so let's get busy.