COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — The South Carolina House of Representatives now has two bills on the floor that would make it easier for legal gun owners to openly carry guns.
The House Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to send the Constitutional Carry Act of 2021 to the floor. The bill received bipartisan support in the committee.
The bill would allow anyone who can own a gun in South Carolina legally to openly carry.
Representative Bobby Cox (R-District 21) is the primary sponsor of the bill. He said he wants to protect second amendment rights.
“As we have seen on the federal level, the government is doing an overreach of the second amendment. While South Carolina and this committee is leading the way of protecting our constitutional freedom and this bill is a part of that,” Cox told a panel of lawmakers.
The bill is now headed to the floor.
Before lawmakers take up that legislation, the House is expected to debate the Open Carry with Training Act on Wednesday. That legislation would allow anyone with a Concealed Weapon Permit to open carry in the state.
According to SLED, there are nearly 500,000 active Concealed Weapon Permits in South Carolina.
Rep. Cox is also the primary sponsor for this legislation as well.
Some state and local law enforcement and religious leaders across the state have voiced their concerns about the bills. They told lawmakers they don’t think these bills would make South Carolina safer.
Rep. Seth Rose (D-District 72) voted against the Constitutional Carry bill in committee Tuesday. He said lawmakers should follow the lead of law enforcement on this issue.
“We’re addressing the political hot button issues for various members to go back home and put that on a mail out – rather than do the business we were elected to do and that is to move South Carolina forward,” Rep. Rose said.