South Carolina Set To Become 27th Constitutional Carry State

South Carolina is on course to be the 27th state in the Union to enshrine constitutional carry for its law-abiding citizens. The state Senate Judiciary subcommittee last week advanced the legislation forward and gave hope to Second Amendment advocates that yet another state will enter the fold.

It was early February when state Rep. Bobby Cox (R) introduced House Bill 3594 to enact constitutional carry. It breezed through the South Carolina House by a whopping 87-26 vote.

The margin was much closer, however, when the Senate subcommittee passed the bill on by a narrow 3-2 vote. Now it moves to the full Judiciary Committee and is a step closer to being law.

Cox told Breitbart News that “the Senate should not delay in passing HB 3954. The House version was a collaborative effort between Second Amendment groups and law enforcement to restore our constitutional freedom and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”

The National Rifle Association noted that the bill reinforces the constitutional right of law-abiding adults to be armed for self-defense without being burdened by unnecessary government regulations.

Those who wish to exercise their right to constitutional carry still face the same criteria as before, and previously issued permits are still recognized. Further, anyone wishing to take advantage of reciprocity in other states may still obtain a permit from South Carolina.

The NRA’s D.J. Spiker recently told the South Carolina House that “we certainly have not seen a shift…in other states of the number of people carrying or impact on violent crime.”

The South Carolina Sheriff’s Association reversed its former position and now supports the proposals. The group asked lawmakers to strengthen punishments for repeat offenders charged with misdemeanor gun violations.

Anti-gun advocates spoke out against the measure. Patty Tuttle with Moms Demand Action admonished that “if you care about your friends and your family, then do not make it easier to carry weapons in public.”

With more than half of U.S. states now fully constitutional carry, South Carolina is poised to take the country even further into pro-Second Amendment territory. Self-defense has a solid foundation in American legal tradition, and lawmakers would be wise to extend that right further.