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HomeNewsSouth Carolina Governor Signs New Gun Law in Ceremonial Bill Signing

South Carolina Governor Signs New Gun Law in Ceremonial Bill Signing

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Governor Henry McMaster
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Tuesday saw gun owners in South Carolina celebrate a step forward. Governor Henry McMaster hosted a ceremony spotlighting a new law that allows any adult who can legally own a gun to carry it openly without a permit.

The bill arrived at McMaster’s desk 12 days ago. According to reports, he wasted no time signing it as soon as it arrived. The permit allowing open carry was also signed before the ink dried, never mind how much damage this could amount to. 

Tuesday’s Statehouse event was to let everyone who pushed for the law take a victory lap. “This is a happy day. It’s a good step forward,” the Republican governor believes.

The new law will change several things, including how police do their jobs. Guns can now be anywhere inside a vehicle—in the dashboard, on the floor, or even in a cup holder instead of hidden in a console or glove compartment.

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Officers have lost the right to stop someone who is just carrying a gun. It is also up to anyone carrying a concealed weapon to tell an officer they have it.

Concealed weapons permits are still available, and the bill makes the training free across the state. Budget writers will have to set aside $4 to $5 million to provide the classes in each of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

Encouraging the training that those classes provided was one of the biggest obstacles to passing the new law. Many police departments and some lawmakers who usually support fewer restrictions on guns thought that people still need to get training before they should be able to carry a weapon in public.

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The law also allows anyone ages 18 to 20 who doesn’t have a felony conviction or other legal problem to carry a gun. The old concealed weapons law put the minimum age to own a gun at 21.

“The Constitution doesn’t specify the age,” said Republican Rep. Shane Martin who supported the bill through the Senate. “Whether you like it or not, those 18, 19, 20 year[s] olds should be eligible.”

The law’s signing is a big win for gun lovers, as increasing gun violence has led to a strong push for stricter gun laws. South Carolina remains a haven for gun owners because of its non-strict firearm laws. 

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However, a study has shown that states that don’t have strict firearm laws often have high rates of gun crimes. On the other hand, states that have strict gun laws enjoy more relative peace. 

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