In South Carolina, legislators are currently deliberating on a bill that proposes constitutional carry or permitless carry, which would allow citizens to openly carry handguns without a permit. During recent discussions, no vote was cast, as lawmakers focused on refining the bill’s details to ensure clarity and prevent legal ambiguities.

The bill, having already been approved by the House, is now under consideration in the Senate. Key points of discussion include how the law would affect individuals with misdemeanor or white-collar crime convictions and the implications for law enforcement officers when they encounter armed individuals. The bill raises questions about officers’ ability to lawfully stop and question individuals carrying guns without permits, particularly in distinguishing between law-abiding citizens and potential criminals.

Republican Senator Luke Rankin voiced concerns about the bill potentially hindering law enforcement’s ability to conduct lawful stops and differentiate between lawful carriers and criminals. Despite these discussions, no amendments have been voted on, and the Senate has not yet taken a formal vote on the bill.

The Senate is expected to reconvene on January 30 to continue its consideration of the bill.

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