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South Carolina Becomes the Latest State to Allow “Constitutional Carry”

South Carolina Becomes the Latest State to Allow “Constitutional Carry”

As the 2024 presidential race heats up, especially in southern states like South Carolina, the Palmetto State has become the 29th in the nation to allow “constitutional carry” of a firearm. But exactly what does that mean?

House Bill 3594, also known as the South Carolina Second Amendment Preservation Act, went into effect immediately after Gov. Henry McMaster signed it on Thursday. The new legislation allows for “Constitutional” or “permitless carry.” Basically, it means that any adult who can legally own a gun can now carry one openly in South Carolina.

Gun rights supporters have pushed for the law for nearly a decade, first allowing open carry for people who took the training to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Encouraging that kind of training was one of the biggest roadblocks for the new law. A Senate proposal to provide millions of dollars for free gun training across the state needed to get a concealed weapons permit was part of what cleared the way.

The law also provides stiffer penalties for people who repeatedly carry guns in places where they would still be banned, like schools or courthouses, or commit crimes while armed, whether they use the weapon or not. The penalties can be enhanced if the offender doesn’t have a concealed weapons permit.

With the governor’s signature in a private ceremony in his office with at least a dozen lawmakers, South Carolina joined 28 other states that allow open carry of guns without a permit, including nearly every state in the Deep South.

For Gov. Henry McMaster, the stiffer penalties for criminals possessing guns when they shouldn’t and people who illegally use weapons was the most important part of the new law.

“Now law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges can keep career violent criminals behind bars where they belong where they can no longer hurt innocent South Carolinians,” McMaster said in a statement after the Senate approved the compromise.

Gun rights advocates put heavy pressure on senators to get rid of extra penalties for people without concealed weapons permits, saying there should be true open carry with no incentive to get a permit and suggesting people legally carrying guns could be harassed.

However, Sen. Rex Rice said the bill is about the best gun rights law the state can get.

“It gives law-abiding citizens the right to carry a gun with or without a permit. And it also puts the bad guys in jail if they are carrying guns and shouldn’t,” the Republican from Easley said.

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  1. Dan tyree

    Yes!!!!! As did Louisiana.

  2. frank stetson

    In the world of carry, I support open above concealed. The founders, or people of that era, considered concealled carry to be the act of a person of low moral fiber, a cad, a criminal. Real men don’t hide their weapons up their sleeves.

    They are spending millions in tax dollars for free training: that’s not fair to those who don’t carry who pay taxes. I’m thinking of moving there for awile just for the free training :>)

    Any business, or house, can post a no-guns sign to prohibit, that’s fair enough for those who don’t desire to partake

    Until I see the penalities, I am not sure where I stannd on this, but certainly like open more than concealed.

    • Dan tyree

      People should be properly trained. At least learn the self defense laws. Make a bad call and apology won’t help. But concealed carry is good. A criminal would target the open carry person first But going armed ain’t controversial or anything new. Criminals have been doing it since the beginning. And for anyone who believes in the Bible, Jesus told his deciples to buy swords. Yes. Got believes in personal defense. And freedom.

      • Dan tyree

        Meant to say God.

      • frank stetson

        The point is let them pay to be trained.

      • Ste

        Not true on being a target if open carrying by the criminals

        Polls have been taken from criminals in prisons

        The large majority of them say they would avoid a clearly armed person first

        See criminals in the most part are cowards in general. Thus the reasons for mass shootings taking place in soft target areas where guns are not allowed. I carry open 24-7-365 and have for years

        I live in SC . I’ve lived in Texas, Tennessee and now SC and have had a CWP in all 3 states since the mid nineties.
        All folks would be wise to get proper training and arm themselves in todays climate!
        I’ve been shot at and stabbed in my life and I refuse to let ANY criminal take advantage of me

        By the way I’m 70 years old and have a DD214
        Answered the draft call and took the oath!

        Don’t lay down people, STAND UP FOR THE CONSTITUTION!

  3. Andrew Gutterman

    I’m waiting for the shootout at the OK corral, modern version to convince people that these very loose gun laws are really, really stupid. There was a reason the Sherriff told visitors to check their guns at the door. Ironically the “Wild West” towns of the 1800’s had more gun control than we do today.

    • Jim wampler

      You’re the one who’s stupid you ignorant prick. And your party caused people to be armed. Asshole!!!!!

      • hONEST ABE

        When seconds count, the police are only minutes away……..

      • frank stetson

        How did Democrats force to be armed? Can’t wait for this one: criminal hoards? BLM? Antifa? maybe the drag queen show threat? Can’t wait for this one.

        Have we caused you to use said arms?

        • Richard

          All of the above

  4. Darren

    Thank you Biden for F ing up this country to the point as to were more states want open carry.

    • Dan tyree

      We must protect ourselves and our families. The government will fail us. And I love it that Illinois people are mostly ignoring the communist gun laws. Nobody gets to ban anything unless we allow it. And I damned sure won’t.

  5. frank stetson

    Just pisses me off that law does not cover long guns. Man, can’t be in shot guns n pick em up country without a gun rack in the back with loaded guns. The trunk is just not cool.

    • Steve

      You can open carry any long gun in SC even on a gun rack in your back window in your truck. I just spoke with SLED regarding this in SC and the law is written as “ANY LEAGAL
      Size and style is up to the gun owner