Representative Jonathan Hill introduced a “Constitutional Carry” bill in the SC House. “Constitutional Carry” though is a loosely defined term that even the most knowledgeable gun rights advocates cannot agree upon. Thus it is not enough to state the intent of the bill; the real question is: What will it do?
H. 3456 [previously 3700], as introduced, will allow permit-less carry by introducing an “exception that swallows the rule” of SC Code Ann. 16-23-20. Subsection (A)(17) specifically exempts from the prohibition on carrying a handgun “a person who is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state law.” This new exception would effectively limit the prohibition in 16-23-20 to only those persons, such as felons, who cannot legally possess firearms under SC law.
In excepting all lawful firearm owners from the prohibition in 16-23-20, the bill will remove restrictions on carrying a handgun openly. While the law will not specifically state that a handgun can be carried openly, there will be no prohibition on doing so. Under the traditions of the English Common Law, that which is not prohibited is allowed. Thus open carry will become available to the people of SC.
To further clarify the intent of the bill, the definition of “concealable weapon” is altered by removing language requiring a firearm carried pursuant to a CWP to be concealed.
The bill is being discussed in subcommittee tomorrow. Both Hill and NMB Representative William Bailey (a co-sponsor on the bill) reached out to us. Hill sent the following:
I need a quick favor TODAY to help me pass Constitutional Carry.
You see, I’ve been working to get this bill (H.3456) through the legislative process. In spite of opposition and stall tactics, a committee hearing has finally been scheduled for 9AM on Thursday!
Now, could you call three committee members for me? Tell them:
- PASS H.3456 immediately, with no more delays!
- This isn’t going away until they do!
If you want, you can also tell them that:
- Free citizens don’t need permission to exercise their 2A rights.
- South Carolina should allow open carry as an option.
New York-style gun restrictions have no place here!
- The permit mandate prevents more than half of legal gun owners from being allowed to carry their own weapon for self defense!
These are the committee members that I need you to call: