Hundreds pack meeting about proposed bill that would make CWP laws in SC obsolete
UPDATED 10:36 PM EDT Mar 11, 2013
State Sen. Lee Bright, a Republican from Spartanburg, has prefiled a bill that, if passed into law, would allow South Carolina residents to lawfully carry a weapon concealed or unconcealed without a permit.
According to GunRights.org, only Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming allow residents to carry a firearm without a permit.
If Senate Bill 115 is approved, it would essentially make S.C.’s concealed weapon permit law obsolete.
Many at a public forum Monday night spoke in favor of the proposed bill.
“This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s a constitutional issue and if you vote for it you’re voting for the Constitution. If you’re not, you’re against the Constitution,” said a citizen.
Sen. Larry Martin of Pickens tells News 4 that he cannot support a law that undermines current concealed weapon permit laws.
Martin says if the CWP laws are repealed in South Carolina, it will mean that citizens cannot lawfully carry weapons into other states where reciprocity laws apply.
Some who spoke at Monday night’s meeting agree, and say current restrictions are in place for safety.
“We’re talking about making guns more accessible with absolutely no training. This is ridiculous,” said a citizen.
It would also give business owners the right to allow or prohibit anyone from carrying a weapon on premises with a sign indicating so.
By law, schools and school functions would be exempt from the law and no one but law enforcement officers would be authorized to carry weapons on those premises.
Critics, including SCGunRights.net, said the bill is poorly drafted.
Bright has introduced a similar bill in the past that has died in committee.
Another public forum on the proposed bill will be held Monday, March 18 in Myrtle Beach.