Concealed Carry

We recently posed the question, “Constitutional Carry: Can We Reach 30 States In 2024?” Now, South Carolina lawmakers seem poised to possibly move “permitless” carry one step closer to that mark.

House Bill 3594, which has a total of 70 House sponsors passed in a Senate floor vote this week 28-15 after being debated on the Senate floor. It now goes back before the House for a full vote before it can be signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster. Officially called the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry/Second Amendment Preservation Act of 2023,” the measure would basically do away with the requirement for law-abiding citizens to obtain a carry permit before carrying a firearm for self-defense, while also increasing the penalties for felons in possession of firearms.

Pro-2A group Gun Owners of America recently sent an alert to its members in the Palmetto State encouraging them to contact their state Senators and urge them to pass the bill with no amendments.

“Yesterday, the South Carolina State Senate debated amendments to H 3594, the House-passed Constitutional Carry bill,” the alert stated. “While a few amendments could be considered pro-gun, most would weaken the legislation. If any amendment is passed, the bill would go back to the House for consideration. Gun Owners of America is urging the Senate to pass a clean bill and to put it on Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk as soon as possible.

“Time is short. Your state Senator needs to hear from you immediately.”

If the bill is signed into law, South Carolina will be the 28th state where lawful citizens can carry a concealed firearm for defense of themselves and their families without jumping through government hoops, navigating endless red tape and paying a fee to practice their Second Amendment rights.

Two other states considering constitutional carry are North Carolina and Louisiana. In North Carolina, a similar measure that was derailed in committee last year by amendments that added a mandatory training and education requirement could be considered again. A Louisiana bill suffered the same fate, but proponents vow to bring it back up again.

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