SC Senate Rejects Permitless Open Carry

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I’m not a big fan of open carry for most things, but there are times when it makes perfect sense. Especially when you live in a state where open carry without a permit is legal, but you’re having to wait for a permit. I tend to believe that you’re better off carrying than not, even if you can only carry openly.

There are those who seem to think that because I’m not a fan of open carry, I’m somehow anti-open carry. That’s not true. I believe it should be an option for every law-abiding citizen, even if I don’t think it’s the best choice one can make.

Which is why I’m very unhappy to see this.

South Carolina senators debating a bill that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns on Wednesday rejected an attempt to get rid of the requirement for the permits.

Senators voted 25-21 against the so-called constitutional carry amendment after several hours of debate.

It would have allow anyone who can legally own a gun to carry it anywhere the weapons are legally allowed.

Several Republican leaders in the Senate weren’t ready to go as far as open carry without a permit.

“I think training and background checks are important,” said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, a Republican from Edgefield.

Senators expected to debate well into Wednesday night. Once the day is finished, there are four more days left in the General Assembly’s session.

Gun rights groups have made open carry a priority for years and put extra pressure on senators after Republicans won an extra three seats in the 2020 elections.

Yeah, that’s disappointing.

And I expect gun rights groups to respond to this blatant slap in the face. Frankly, they might need to look and see if they can replace Massey because that’s not a pro-gun attitude.

See, everyone who purchases a firearm from a licensed dealer does go through a background check. Further, the bill wouldn’t give everyone the ability to open carry, only law-abiding citizens. Which is fine because criminals don’t like open carry anyway.

They’re carrying concealed without a permit, after all, and they always have. Further, they always will. It’s kind of what criminals do; that whole “ignore the law” thing.

But a bill like this would have given people options. They’d have been able to openly carry a firearm while waiting to obtain their carry permits. Open carry may not be my ball of wax, but it doesn’t represent a threat to the community, either. This was the wrong approach for the supposedly Republican leadership to take.

Frankly, it’s well past time to start holding Republican officials’ feet to the fire. They either need to step up and start defending the Second Amendment by expanding gun rights where they can or they need to find something else to do when the legislature is in session. We expect the GOP to work toward expanding gun rights, so they need to start delivering.

If they won’t, I’m sure there’s some young, hungry politician that would be more than happy to help these states out.

Oct 20, 2021 5:30 PM ET