Allowing Concealed Carry without a Permit
H.3025 would allow any individual over the age of 21 who is not legally barred from owning a handgun to carry a concealed handgun on their person in public. Individuals would no longer be required to obtain a concealed weapons permit (CWP) to carry concealed, but they would still have the option to obtain one. Individuals would still be prohibited from carrying in certain locations specified in state law (courthouses, police stations, daycares, etc.).
The bill would also require that South Carolina accept as valid a CWP from any state. In current law South Carolina will only accept out of state CWPs from designated reciprocal states. Finally, H.3025 would reduce the severity of the law concerning carrying a firearm into a business that serves alcohol. Carrying in such an establishment would only be illegal: if the business has posted a sign clearly prohibiting carrying on its premises, if the armed individual refuses to leave the business when asked by a person legally in control of the premises, or if the armed individual consumes alcohol on the premises. The maximum penalty for any of the above mentioned offenses would also be reduced from a three to two year jail term. This latter section appears to be cleaning up language which may violate the spirit of the recently passed restaurant carry bill.
Keeping and bearing arms is a right and not a privilege, and citizens shouldn’t require any permission from the government to exercise this right. As it stands, the reforms in H.3025 would almost entirely abolish unconstitutional state restrictions on 2nd amendment rights.