Yesterday, Senate Bill 308, introduced by state Senator Sean Bennett (R-38), was set for Special Order for today. A critical self-defense reform that would remove the prohibition on a Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) holder carrying a concealed firearm into a restaurant licensed to serve alcohol. This critical step removes one of the major procedural obstacles to passage of this bill and will allow for it to be debated on the Senate floor. While debate started today, a vote was not taken. The discussion will continue when the Senate returns from its two-week break on April 9. Please contact your state Senator and urge her or him to support S. 308.
Senate Bill 115, introduced by state Senator Lee Bright (R-12), was passed in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee yesterday and should be heard by the full Senate Judiciary Committee when the Senate returns in April. This legislation would repeal the existing law that requires a person to have a concealed firearm license in order to carry concealed. However, S. 115 would not eliminate the current carry permitting system, which will still be required for those who wish to participate in reciprocal concealed carry permit agreements when traveling to other states. Please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to support S. 115.
Finally, state Representative Mike Pitts (R-14) has introduced House Bill 3822, which would make several substantive changes to the current Concealable Weapons Permit (CWP). It would remove the automatic prohibition on CWP holders carrying a personal protection firearm into churches and other established religious sanctuaries, as well as into medical facilities and doctor's offices. H. 3822 also allows non-residents to acquire a CWP and extends the duration of a CWP from four to five years. It also requires the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to notify CWP holders at least thirty days prior to the expiration date of their permit that their permit is set to expire, and that the CWP holder may apply for renewal. Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support H. 3822.