Charleston, South Carolina – Eligible firearm owners in South Carolina could soon be permitted to carry their guns freely, without a permit, should Bill H. 3594 pass in the Senate and receive approval from Governor Henry McMaster.
As of now, procuring a firearm in South Carolina requires individuals to be at least 18 years of age and to secure a concealed carry permit for public carrying or open transport in their vehicles.
Tommy Dimsdale, the Executive Director of Palmetto Gun Rights, sees this as an exercise of a constitutional right.
“We believe you shouldn’t have to ask permission from the government to exercise a right that’s already enshrined in the second amendment of our constitution,” he said.
However, this proposition has met opposition.
Patty Tuttle from South Carolina Moms Demand Action has been actively contesting these bills, asserting that the existing permit process is both constitutional and safer.
“It keeps us all safer by ensuring that people who are openly carrying handguns are trained and have a background check, it also makes law enforcement’s job easier because they can determine quickly whether someone is legally carrying a handgun or not,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle believes permitless carry puts children in danger.
“What we’re putting these kids through and the fear that they have, hearing different noises at school or thinking that someone might be around the corner getting ready to shoot them, I don’t understand how we can just let that be the norm,’ she said.
Dimsdale said that isn’t the case.
“If you can lawfully possess a gun now, you can lawfully carry it. It doesn’t make it where a criminal or someone, you know, who has been adjudicated as mentally deficient, they can’t just suddenly carry guns just because constitutional carry passed,” he said.
Dimsdale said guns make communities safer.
“If we want safe communities, we have to give those people who can’t defend themselves a fighting chance and the gun is the equalizer,” Dimsdale said.
Tuttle is urging lawmakers to reject the bills.