South Carolina Carry, Inc. (SC Carry) has planned an event to draw attention to ongoing efforts to enact open carry legislation in South Carolina for all law-abiding residents.
Under current South Carolina law, open carry of a long gun is not illegal for those who are legal to possess a firearm, and open carry of a handgun is only legally permitted when a licensed sportsman is engaged in or traveling to and from fishing or hunting. On Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 10 AM to 4 PM South Carolina Carry will host an Open Carry Fishing Trip. Attendees will meet at a designated location in Columbia and walk down to the river to fish.
The South Carolina Sheriffs' Association (SCSA) has pushed against making open carry legal for all residents under all circumstances where concealed carry is already legal. The SCSA claims their opposition is purely one of “officer safety.”
45 states, including our bordering states of North Carolina and Georgia, allow open carry of handguns in some form. 31 states allow for open carry with no permit required, with 16 currently having or recently passed legislation for permitless “Constitutional Carry” for all that are legally permitted to possess a firearm. Law enforcement officials in these states have not reported any significant issues with the practice.
Sherra Scott, president of South Carolina Carry, Inc. states, "The Sheriffs Association has stated concerns about officer safety when it comes to allowing open carry in South Carolina. It sounds like they are suggesting the law enforcement officers in South Carolina are not as skilled in reading body language as their brother and sister officers in the rest of the Country and that law-abiding South Carolina residents are not as capable or responsible as their fellow Americans."
"Members of some gun control groups have voiced opposition to the idea of open carry stating citizens may be “fearful” of seeing someone who is armed and not a uniformed law enforcement officer. However, there is a very good chance they are in the close presence of someone already legally carrying a handgun just about anywhere they go on a daily basis. They fail to explain how a piece of cloth obscuring their view of the firearm offers any sort of “protection” or alleviation for their concerns," says Dan Roberts, Director of Outreach for South Carolina Carry, Inc. "We have made sure the event is compliant by obtaining permits and notifying local law enforcement agencies of the event," Roberts stated.