Upstate Sheriff Speaks Out Against Proposed Open Carry Law - WSPA.com

Upstate Sheriff Speaks Out Against Proposed Open Carry Law

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There's no question Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper is a strong supporter of your second amendment rights.

"I'm certainly for people having guns," Skipper said.

But Skipper has some major concerns about a proposed bill that would allow you to pack heat in public, while eliminating required training and permits.  Skipper says an untrained gun owner is putting his own life and yours at risk.

"I've worked so many cases in my career, I've been in this almost 40 years, when a victim went for their gun and had their gun taken away from them and were killed with their own weapon because of a lack of that reassurance," Skipper said.

Skipper tells us, open carry laws will also make it harder for his deputies.  Skipper worries about an increase in 911 calls, calls from people who see someone with a gun they believe is a convicted felon. Skipper says those situations could easily turn dangerous. 

"It's going to put us in the position where we have to confront these people on the street saying we have a complaint and then there's going to be a confrontation," Skipper said.

Even Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright has his doubts about the proposed bill. Wright has encouraged people to arm themselves, and is a strong supporter of Concealed Weapons Permits, but Wright says he would only support an open carry law if training was still required. Something gun owner Grant McDonald strongly agrees with.

"I don't believe that just anybody should be able to pick up a gun and walk around with it," McDonald said.

Supporters of the bill say carrying a gun is a right and you shouldn't be forced to pay for a license and training.

"If they have passed the grounds to obtain the weapon then they should be allowed to carry it," gun owner Thomas Thompson said.

A senate subcommittee has passed the measure, so it will go next month to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

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