South Carolina Carry, Inc. (SC Carry) recently assisted the coordinated efforts of Mr. Graham Horsman, Attorney Lauren Martel, South Carolina State Senator Shane Martin, South Carolina State Representative Matt Leber in getting the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) to immediately remove the “no concealable weapons allowed” signs from Charleston County parks.
In August 2021, CCPRC first erected three-foot by four-foot signs at all Charleston area parks prohibiting the carrying of firearms on over 11,000 acres of public lands and subjecting concealed weapon permit holders to fines, arrest, and imprisonment for simply exercising their constitutional rights.
This firearm ban was enforced in direct violation of S.C. Code Ann. §23-31-510, which prohibits the governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the state from regulating the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.
On June 4, 2022, after having been made aware of the situation by one of its members, SC Carry first notified CCPRC that its signs were unlawful, but CCPRC refused to take any corrective action.
With the assistance of Senator Shane Martin (District 13 - Greenville, Spartanburg, and Union Counties), SC Carry obtained an opinion from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office confirming SC Carry's position. See Op. S.C. Att’y. Gen., 2022 WL 3452222 (July 22, 2022). CCPRC again refused to remove the signs.
On October 4, 2022, as a result of CCPRC’s unilateral refusal to comply with state law, Attorney Lauren Martel filed a declaratory judgment action in South Carolina Circuit Court on behalf of her client, Graham Horsman, a resident of Charleston County.
As a result of the lawsuit and the efforts of Representative Matt Leber (District 116 - Charleston and Colleton Counties), on August 21, 2023, CCPRC voted to settle the lawsuit by immediately removing the signs. Throughout the litigation, the SC Carry Board of Directors worked closely with Mr. Horsman and others to restore the 2nd Amendment rights of Charleston County residents and all South Carolinians.
Following the vote, Mr. Horsman stated that he “respects the Park Commission’s commitment to providing excellent parks,” and noted that “law-abiding concealed weapon permit holders are a far more effective deterrent than signs.”
Mike Duralia, President of SC Carry, remarked, “There’s been a great deal of confusion since the modification of S.C. Code Ann. §23-31-520, which allows local government only to TEMPORARILY prohibit the OPEN carry of firearms during PERMITED events.” Duralia stated, “Fourteen and a half months is a rather long time to correct a simple mistake made by otherwise well-meaning individuals and SC Carry always stands ready to defend your right to protect yourself, and we will continue to take action to do just that.”
South Carolina Carry is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization dedicated to defending the right of individual self-protection guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment through education and interaction with the public.