South Carolina Senate Subcommittee Passes Constitutional Carry Bill

South Carolina’s Senate Judiciary Subcommittee passed Senate Bill 109, putting the state on track to become the 27th state in the U.S. with constitutional carry.

Constitutional carry allows law-abiding adults to carry firearms for self-defense without needing a license or a permit.

In February 2023, South Carolina State Rep. Bobby Cox (R) introduced House Bill 3594 to pass constitutional carry. The state House voted 87-26 to pass Cox’s legislation.

“The Senate should not delay in passing H. 3594. The House version was a collaborative effort between 2A groups and law enforcement to restore our constitutional freedom and keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” Cox told Breitbart News regarding his legislation.

“This will open up options for families to protect themselves without a permit,” he added. “South Carolinians can still get the training they need. But they don’t need a permission slip to exercise that right.”

The legislation prohibits people from bringing guns into detention centers, courthouses, polling places, government offices, school-athletic events, schools, religious sanctuaries, and doctor’s offices.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) favored the bill, saying it protects the rights of law-abiding adults.

“This bill recognizes the fundamental right of law-abiding adults to carry firearms for self-defense without having to navigate burdensome government regulations. Constitutional Carry does not change the criteria for eligibility to obtain a carry permit, nor does it affect previously issued permits,” the organization said.

In an interview with WIS News, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced his intention to sign the legislation if it passes the Senate.

“I know there’s a concern about it, but I don’t share those concerns,” McMaster said. “I don’t think everybody’s going to run out and buy a pistol to carry it around. I think the people who will be the law-abiding citizens who know how to handle firearms, and I think the Constitution, the Second Amendment, says you have a right, and I think the legislation is right on point.”

The U.S. currently has 26 constitutional carry states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Florida’s constitutional carry law takes effect on July 1, 2023.