COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – A GOP-pushed State House bill could soon allow South Carolina adults to legally carry a handgun without training. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill by 16-7 vote along party lines.
“I really don’t care where you get your training,” Manager of Sharpshooters Gun Club and Range, James Frazier said. “We can provide it. You can get it from law enforcement. You can get it in a lot of different ways, but we do highly recommend that you get training.”
“It’s in the constitution that you shouldn’t have to have a permit,” Frazier said. “However safety still has to come first and foremost.”
Lawmakers say the proposed legislation would also allow South Carolina residents to carry a firearm without a state permit.
If passed, South Carolina would be the 26th state to have this law.
Republican Representative of the 21st District Bobby Cox and 61 Republican cosponsors pre-filed the bill on December 15th.
“We are taking the approach that you don’t really need a permission slip from the government to exercise one of your constitutional freedoms,” Cox said. “This does not do away with background checks, so if you can legally buy a handgun you’re still going to go through that federal background check to make sure you are not a criminal and can actually legally carry a gun.”
Cox says with crime being a top concern they believe passing this bill gives people an option to protect themselves.
“There are 25 other states that have done this,” Cox said. “You haven’t really seen a rise in gun violence from law-abiding citizens. We always focus on the law-abiding citizens and the legal gun owners but really we need to focus on the criminals. A lot of laws that are in place criminals don’t even abide by them, so more laws that restrict gun owners, legal gun owners doesn’t do much good.”
The bill will now move to the house floor for further consideration. Representative Bobby Cox says if passed the process of enacting this bill into law could take up to a year.