In South Carolina, you just might soon be able to visit and still carry your concealed weapon. Lawmakers are considering H 3240, which could make recognizing gun permits from non-residents a law. A bill similar to this went before the House in 2016 and passed, but then was voted down in a Senate subcommittee.
Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York, who represents a county that borders North Carolina said, “I support this basically to make sure that South Carolinians can have reciprocity elsewhere. I’ve tried to attack it from my constituents’ side of things. I want my people in South Carolina to enjoy carrying rights in other states.”
Pope is a co-sponsor of H 3240 and explained that, if passed, it would allow any person with a concealed weapons permit in their home state could legally carry guns in South Carolina. South Carolina gun permits are currently recognized in 23 states, with the General Assembly last year passing a law granting reciprocity with Georgia.
Last week, the panel gave their initial approval to the national reciprocity bill by a narrow 3-2 margin. The subcommittee’s two Democrats voted against it.
Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia was one of the two who voted against H 3240 and he said that many states have weaker requirements than what is necessary in South Carolina get a permit. Some states allow 18-year-olds, while permit holders must be 21 in South Carolina. Also, some states don’t require training to use the weapon. South Carolina does.
“I think it’s something that our citizens should be concerned about,” Smith argued. “We ought to have the same standard, it seems to me, for others, that we require of our own citizens.”