South Carolina Constitutional Carry Bills H. 3039 and H. 3096 Compared


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Open Carry and Constitutional Carry... x
Open Carry and Constitutional Carry Bills

Many bills are being considered by the South Carolina Legislature this term that are of interest to gun owners. I just wrote an article about H. 3094, which allows open carry in South Carolina. This article is about H. 3039, which allows Constitutional carry, and its alternative H. 3096.

H. 3039 was introduced in the House on Jan 12, 2021. It was sponsored by Representatives Hill, Long, May and Dabney. The bill allows South Carolinians to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

H. 3096 was introduced in the House on January 12, 2021. It was sponsored by Representatives B. Cox, Magnuson, Burns, Forrest, Morgan, Haddon, Jones, McCabe, McCravy, Elliott, G.R. Smith, Taylor, Oremus, Trantham, May, Kimmons, Chumley, Long, Stringer, Wooten, McGarry, Fry, V.S. Moss, Hill, Caskey, Nutt, T. Moore, Ligon, Thayer, Hardee, Yow, Hixon, Huggins, Crawford and Willis. It permits South Carolinians to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Both bills are currently residing in the House Committee on Judiciary. When you have some time, scroll through the scstatehouse.gov website and see the bills that are pending.

You will soon connect certain names to their issues, and the titles of the bills will give you an idea of the priorities of the individual legislators.

I will walk you through the bills section by section and discuss what they mean for gun owners in South Carolina.

H. 3039H. 3094Comments
Permitless CarryYesYes
Open CarryNoNoSome removal of concealment language in H. 3039
Change Who Can CarryNoNo
Change Where You Can CarryNoNo
Fine/Jail For Unlawful CarryYesYes
ReciprocityYesLimitedHonor all other state permits
Fine For Unreported Stolen PermitNo Yes
Businesses Can Prohibit CarryYesYes
Ask Permission in Other People’s HomesYesNo
Constitutional Carry Bills Before the SC House

The Sponsors

The sponsors of both bills are interested in bringing South Carolina’s laws in line with what South Carolinians want.

The idea that we are entitled to carry because it is encoded in the Constitution is sweeping the nation, in direct opposition to the gun control ideology that is currently in our nation’s Capitol.

Constitutional Carry has passed in 18 states. See the list of states that allow permitless carry at usconcealedcarry.com.

I have interacted personally with a number of our South Carolina lawmakers. Roger Nutt in particular has expressed his desire to move us in the right direction at a pace that will pass through the legislature without triggering panic among the legislators on the other end of the spectrum.

Nutt reports that the best way to get the attention of the legislator is to make your communications more individualized. He advises calling or emailing your legislators and speaking in your own words, rather than sending in copies of form letters written by a political organizer.

I used this link on scstatehouse.gov to send a message in my own (polite) words to the whole House sharing my opinion on the issues of open carry and Constitutional carry. I got quite a few automatic responses and one set of emojis in return.

Ultimately some of the legislators will take the time to read my short message. The rest will have a staffer count how many people were for and against each issue. Both results are worth the little bit of time I spent.

Take the time to find your State Senator and Representative. Several of the responses indicated that they are more likely to respond if I use the word “constituent” to indicate that I am in their particular district. You have the option of choosing which legislators get your message.

I have a feeling I will end up on a few mailing lists because of my actions, and that is a good thing. I want to know how my legislators make their choices.

The Changes

Let’s compare the two bills head to head. Buckle in, because this may take a moment. Where they are different I will use different colors. Content specific to H. 3039 will be orange and content specific to H. 3094 will be purple.

When they both say the same thing the writing will be black and I will reprint it only in H. 3039.

My comments will be in red.

3039:

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE “SOUTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY ACT OF 2021”; TO AMEND SECTION 10-11-320, RELATING TO CARRYING OR DISCHARGING OF A FIREARM, SO AS TO DELETE THE TERM “CONCEALABLE WEAPONS PERMIT” AND REPLACE IT WITH THE TERM “FIREARM”; TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-20, RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF A HANDGUN, SO AS TO DELETE REFERENCES TO A CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT ISSUED TO A PERSON, TO REVISE THE PROVISION THAT ALLOWS A HANDGUN TO BE CARRIED BY A PERSON IN A VEHICLE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO IS NOT PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING FIREARMS UNDER STATE LAW MAY CARRY A HANDGUN UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 16-23-420 AND 16-23-430, BOTH RELATING TO THE POSSESSION OF A FIREARM ON SCHOOL PROPERTY, SO AS TO DELETE REFERENCES TO CONCEALED WEAPON PERMITS, TO DELETE THE TERM “WEAPON” AND REPLACE IT WITH THE TERM “FIREARM”, AND TO PROVIDE THAT BOTH SECTIONS DO NOT APPLY TO A PERSON WHO LAWFULLY IS CARRYING A WEAPON SECURED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE; TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-460, RELATING TO CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS, SO AS TO DELETE A REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 4, CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23, TO PROVIDE THAT THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PERSON LAWFULLY CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO HANDGUNS; TO AMEND SECTION 51-3-145, RELATING TO CERTAIN ACTS THAT ARE UNLAWFUL IN A STATE PARK, SO AS TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-210, RELATING TO CERTAIN TERMS AND THEIR DEFINITIONS RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF CONCEALABLE WEAPON PERMITS, SO AS TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM “CONCEALABLE WEAPON”; TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-465, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR UNLAWFULLY CARRYING A FIREARM ONTO THE PREMISES OF A BUSINESS SELLING ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR, BEER, OR WINE FOR CONSUMPTION ON THE PREMISES, SO AS TO DELETE A REFERENCE TO A PERSON CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 4, CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PERSON LAWFULLY CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON WHO DOES NOT CONSUME ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR, BEER, OR WINE WHILE CARRYING A WEAPON ON THE BUSINESS PREMISES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-215, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES A PERMIT HOLDER TO POSSESS HIS PERMIT IDENTIFICATION WHEN CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON, THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES A PERMIT HOLDER TO INFORM A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER THAT HE IS A PERMIT HOLDER AND PRESENT THE PERMIT TO THE OFFICER UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND THE PENALTY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROVISION, TO PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION TO THE PROVISION THAT PROHIBITS THE CARRYING OF A CONCEALABLE WEAPON ONTO CERTAIN PREMISES, TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT PROVIDES FOR THE REVOCATION OF A PERSON’S PERMIT WHEN HE VIOLATES CERTAIN PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION, TO PROVIDE THAT VALID OUT-OF-STATE PERMITS TO CARRY CONCEALABLE WEAPONS BY A RESIDENT OF ANOTHER STATE MUST BE HONORED BY THE STATE, TO REVISE THE PROVISION THAT ALLOWS CERTAIN PERSONS TO CARRY A CONCEALABLE WEAPON WITHOUT A PERMIT, AND TO DELETE THE TERM “RECIPROCAL STATE” AND REPLACE IT WITH THE TERM “ANOTHER STATE”; TO AMEND SECTIONS 23-31-220 AND 23-31-225, BOTH RELATING TO A PROPERTY OWNER’S RIGHT TO ALLOW A HOLDER OF A CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT TO CARRY A WEAPON ONTO HIS PROPERTY, SO AS TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES, TO PROVIDE THAT THIS PROVISION REGULATES BOTH PERSONS WHO POSSESS AND DO NOT POSSESS A CONCEALABLE WEAPONS PERMIT, TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES THE REVOCATION OF A PERMIT FOR A VIOLATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF LAW, AND TO DELETE A REFERENCE TO THE PROVISION THAT PROVIDES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF CONCEALED WEAPON PERMITS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-240, RELATING TO PERSONS WHO ARE ALLOWED TO CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON WHILE ON DUTY, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES THESE PERSONS TO POSSESS A CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    This act may be cited as the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act of 2021”.

SECTION    2.    Section 10-11-320 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 10-11-320.    (A)    It is unlawful for any person or group of persons to:

        (1)    carry or have readily accessible to the person upon the capitol grounds or within the capitol building any firearm or dangerous weapon; or

        (2)    discharge any firearm or to use any dangerous weapon upon the capitol grounds or within the capitol building.

    (B)    This section does not apply to a person who possesses a concealable weapons’ permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 firearm and is authorized to park on the capitol grounds or in the parking garage below the capitol grounds. The firearm must remain locked in the person’s vehicle while on or below the capitol grounds and must be stored in a place in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any person upon entry to or below the capitol grounds.”

The strikethrough phrases are deleted phrases; in this case, removing a reference to the Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) that will no longer be required.

SECTION    3.    Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 16-23-20.    (A)    It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law:

    (1)    regular, salaried law enforcement officers, and reserve police officers of a state agency, municipality, or county of the State, uncompensated Governor’s constables, law enforcement officers of the federal government or other states when they are carrying out official duties while in this State, deputy enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources, and retired commissioned law enforcement officers employed as private detectives or private investigators;

    (2)    members of the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard, organized reserves, or the State Militia when on duty;

    (3)    members, or their invited guests, of organizations authorized by law to purchase or receive firearms from the United States or this State or regularly enrolled members, or their invited guests, of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting or collecting modern and antique firearms while these members, or their invited guests, are at or going to or from their places of target practice or their shows and exhibits;

    (4)    licensed hunters or fishermen who are engaged in hunting or fishing or going to or from their places of hunting or fishing while in a vehicle or on foot;

    (5)    a person regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, repossessing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of this person, while possessing, using, or carrying a handgun in the usual or ordinary course of the business;

    (6)    guards authorized by law to possess handguns and engaged in protection of property of the United States or any agency of the United States;

    (7)    members of authorized military or civil organizations while parading or when going to and from the places of meeting of their respective organizations;

    (8)    a person in his home or upon his real property or a person who has the permission of the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of the home or real property;

    (9)    a person in a vehicle if the handgun is:

        (a)    secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle; however, this item is not violated if the glove compartment, console, or trunk is opened in the presence of a law enforcement officer for the sole purpose of retrieving a driver’s license, registration, or proof of insurance. If the person has been issued a concealed weapon permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 is not prohibited by state law from possessing the weapon, then the person also may secure his weapon under a seat in a vehicle, or in any open or closed storage compartment within the vehicle’s passenger compartment; or

        (b)    concealed on or about his person, and he has a valid concealed weapons permit pursuant to the provisions of Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 provided he is not prohibited by state law from possessing the weapon;

    (10)    a person carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or fixed place of business or while in the process of changing or moving one’s residence or changing or moving one’s fixed place of business;

    (11)    a prison guard while engaged in his official duties;

    (12)    a person who is granted a permit under provision of law by the State Law Enforcement Division to carry a handgun about his person, under conditions set forth in the permit, and while transferring the handgun between the permittee’s person and a location specified in item (9);

    (13)    the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of a fixed place of business, while at the fixed place of business, and the employee of a fixed place of business, other than a business subject to Section 16-23-465, while at the place of business; however, the employee may exercise this privilege only after: (a) acquiring a permit pursuant to item (12), and (b) obtaining the permission of the owner or person in legal control or legal possession of the premises;

    (14)    a person engaged in firearms-related activities while on the premises of a fixed place of business which conducts, as a regular course of its business, activities related to sale, repair, pawn, firearms training, or use of firearms, unless the premises is posted with a sign limiting possession of firearms to holders of permits issued pursuant to item (12);

    (15)    a person while transferring a handgun directly from or to a vehicle and a location specified in this section where one may legally possess the handgun.;

    (16)    Any person on a motorcycle when the pistol is secured in a closed saddlebag or other similar closed accessory container attached, whether permanently or temporarily, to the motorcycle.; or

    (17)    a person who is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state law, whether or not the person is a resident of the State.

    (B)    Unless a person first obtains authorization to possess a handgun from a person with the apparent authority to grant it, nothing in subsection (A)(17) authorizes carrying of a handgun into any location prohibited under Section 23-31-215(M).”

These are the same conditions under which a permit holder was allowed to carry; now we are simply stating the terms without the need for a permit.

SECTION    4.    Section 16-23-420 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 16-23-420.    (A)    It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm of any kind on any premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, other post-secondary institution, or in any publicly owned building, without the express permission of the authorities in charge of the premises or property. The provisions of this subsection related to any premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, or other post-secondary institution, do not apply to a person who is authorized to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 when the weapon firearm remains inside an attended or locked motor vehicle and is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.

    (B)    It is unlawful for a person to enter the premises or property described in subsection (A) and to display, brandish, or threaten others with a firearm.

    (C)    A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

    (D)    This section does not apply to a guard, law enforcement officer, or member of the armed forces, or student of military science. A married student residing in an apartment provided by the private or public school whose presence with a weapon firearm in or around a particular building is authorized by persons legally responsible for the security of the buildings is also exempted from the provisions of this section.

    (E)    For purposes of this section, the terms ‘premises’ and ‘property’ do not include state or locally owned or maintained roads, streets, or rights-of-way of them, running through or adjacent to premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, or other post-secondary institution, which are open full time to public vehicular traffic.

    (F)    This section does not apply to a person who is authorized to carry concealed weapons pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31 of Title 23 when upon any premises, property, or building that is part of an interstate highway rest area facility.”

These are the same terms under which concealed carry was prohibited; we are just removing the part about having a permit.

SECTION    5.    Section 16-23-430 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 16-23-430.    (A)    It shall be unlawful for any person, except state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers or personnel authorized by school officials, to carry on his person, while on any elementary or secondary school property, a knife, with a blade over two inches long, a blackjack, a metal pipe or pole, firearms, or any other type of weapon, device, or object which may be used to inflict bodily injury or death.

    (B)    This section does not apply to a person who is authorized to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 when the weapon remains inside an attended or locked motor vehicle and is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.

    (C)    A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. Any weapon or object used in violation of this section may be confiscated by the law enforcement division making the arrest.”

These are the same terms, stated without the permit requirement.

SECTION    6.    Section 16-23-460 of the 1976 Code, is amended to read:

    “Section 16-23-460.    (A) A person carrying a deadly weapon usually used for the infliction of personal injury concealed about his person is guilty of a misdemeanor, must forfeit to the county, or, if convicted in a municipal court, to the municipality, the concealed weapon, and must be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days.

    (B)    The provisions of this section do not apply to:

        (1)    A person carrying a concealed weapon upon his own premises or pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4, Chapter 31 of Title 23 otherwise lawfully carrying a concealable weapon; or

        (2)    peace officers in the actual discharge of their duties.

    (C)    The provisions of this section also do not apply to handguns, rifles, shotguns, dirks, slingshots, metal knuckles, knives, or razors unless they are used with the intent to commit a crime or in furtherance of a crime.”

The word “handguns” was added to section C.

SECTION    7.    Section 16-23-465(B)(1) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(1)    This section does not apply to a person otherwise lawfully carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23; however, the person shall who does not consume alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine while carrying the concealable weapon on the business’ premises. A person who violates this item may be charged with a violation of subsection (A).”

We are just removing the reference to the permit.

SECTION    8.    Section 51-3-145(G) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(G)    Possessing any firearm, airgun, explosive, or firework except by duly authorized park personnel, law enforcement officers, or persons using areas specifically designated by the department for use of firearms, airguns, fireworks, or explosives. Licensed hunters may have firearms in their possession during hunting seasons provided that such firearms are unloaded and carried in a case or the trunk of a vehicle except that in designated game management areas where hunting is permitted, licensed hunters may use firearms for hunting in the manner authorized by law. This subsection shall not apply to a person carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, as defined in Section 23-31-210(5)and the concealable weapon and its ammunition.”

Just removing the permit requirement.

SECTION    9.    Section 23-31-210(5) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(5)    ‘Concealable weapon’ means a firearm having a length of less than twelve inches measured along its greatest dimension that must be carried in a manner that is hidden from public view in normal wear of clothing except when needed for self-defense, defense of others, and the protection of real or personal property.”

Removing the permit requirement and erasing language about concealment.

SECTION    10.    Section 23-31-215(K), (M), (N), and(O) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(K)    A permit holder must have his permit identification card in his possession whenever he carries a concealable weapon. When carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, a permit holder must inform a law enforcement officer of the fact that he is a permit holder and present the permit identification card when an officer:

        (1)    identifies himself as a law enforcement officer; and

        (2)    requests identification or a driver’s license from a permit holder.

    A permit holder immediately must report the loss or theft of a permit identification card to SLED headquarters. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined twenty-five dollars.

H. 3039 removes the $25 fine for failing to report the theft or loss of a permit but keeps the requirement to report the loss immediately. H. 3094 keeps the fine and the misdemeanor but removes the language about immediacy.

(M)    Unless an individual first obtains authorization to possess a concealable weapon from a person with the apparent authority to grant it, a permit issued pursuant to this section does not authorize a permit holder to carry a concealable weapon into a:

        (1)    law enforcement, correctional, or detention facility;

        (2)    courthouse or courtroom;

        (3)    polling place on election days;

        (4)    office of or the business meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special purpose district;

        (5)    school or college athletic event not related to firearms;

        (6)    daycare facility or preschool facility;

        (7)    place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law;

        (8)    church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body;

        (9)    hospital, medical clinic, doctor’s office, or any other facility where medical services or procedures are performed unless expressly authorized by the employer; or

        (10)    place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises pursuant to Sections 23-31-220 and 23-31-235. Except that a property owner or an agent acting on his behalf, by express written consent, may allow individuals of his choosing to enter onto property regardless of any posted sign to the contrary. A person who violates a provision of this item, whether the violation is wilful or not, only may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620 and must not be charged with or penalized for a violation of this subsection.

    Except as provided for in item (10), a person who wilfully violates a provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.

These are the same places where you could not take a gun with a permit. We are just removing the permit language.

    Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to alter or affect the provisions of Sections 10-11-32016-23-42016-23-43016-23-46544-23-108044-52-16550-9-830, and 51-3-145.

The other provisions of the concealed carry laws remain in effect as written.

    (N)(1)    Valid out-of-state permits to carry concealable weapons held by a resident of a reciprocal another state must be honored by this State, provided, that the reciprocal state requires an applicant to successfully pass a criminal background check and a course in firearm training and safety. A resident of a reciprocal another state carrying a concealable weapon in South Carolina is subject to and must abide by the laws of South Carolina regarding concealable weapons. SLED shall maintain and publish a list of those states as the states with which South Carolina has reciprocity.

        (2)    Notwithstanding the reciprocity requirements of item (1), South Carolina shall automatically recognize concealed weapon permits issued by Georgia and North Carolina any other state.

        (3)    The reciprocity provisions of this section shall not be construed to authorize the holder of any out-of-state permit or license to carry, in this State, any firearm or weapon other than a handgun.

Reciprocity! This is a Constitutionalist’s dream.

    (O)    A permit issued pursuant to this article is not required for a person:

        (1)    specified in Section 16-23-20, items (1) through (5) and items (7) through (11);

        (2)    carrying a self-defense device generally considered to be nonlethal including the substance commonly referred to as ‘pepper gas’; or

        (3)    carrying a concealable weapon in a manner not prohibited by law.”

This section specified weapons that did not need a permit and people who did not need a CWP (such as prison guards).

SECTION    11.    Section 23-31-220 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 23-31-220.    Nothing contained in this article shall in any way be construed to limit, diminish, or otherwise infringe upon:

    (1)    the right of a public or private employer to prohibit a person who , whether the person is licensed under this article or not, from carrying a concealable weapon upon the premises of the business or work place or while using any machinery, vehicle, or equipment owned or operated by the business; or

    (2)    the right of a private property owner or person in legal possession or control to allow or prohibit the carrying of a concealable weapon upon his premises.

    The posting of a sign by the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control of a sign stating ‘No Concealable Weapons Allowed’ shall constitute notice to a person holding a permit issued pursuant to this article that the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control requests that concealable weapons not be brought upon the premises or into the work place. A person who brings a concealable weapon onto the premises or work place in violation of the provisions of this paragraph may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620In addition to the penalties provided in Section 16-11-620, a person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this paragraph must have his permit revoked for a period of one year. The prohibition contained in this section does not apply to persons specified in Section 16-23-20, item(A)(1).”

This section allows businesses to prohibit the carrying of weapons on their premises. The two bills word it differently but mean the same thing.

SECTION    12.    Section 23-31-225 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 23-31-225.    No person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 may carry a concealable weapon into the residence or dwelling place of another person without the express permission of the owner or person in legal control or possession, as appropriate. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.”

You need to have the permission of the resident when you carry your gun into someone else’s home. We are just removing the language about the permit.

SECTION    13.    Section 23-31-240 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 23-31-240.    Notwithstanding any other provision contained in this article, the following persons who possess a valid permit pursuant to this article may carry a concealable weapon anywhere within this State, when carrying out the duties of their office:

    (1)    active Supreme Court justices;

    (2)    active judges of the court of appeals;

    (3)    active circuit court judges;

    (4)    active family court judges;

    (5)    active masters-in-equity;

    (6)    active probate court judges;

    (7)    active magistrates;

    (8)    active municipal court judges;

    (9)    active federal judges;

    (10)    active administrative law judges;

    (11)    active solicitors and assistant solicitors; and

    (12)    active workers’ compensation commissioners.”

This is the list of people who are entitled to carry guns as part of their job. The only change is the removal of the permit reference.

SECTION    14.    The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded thereon, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.

SECTION    15.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.—-XX—-

Standard legal talk about the bill being enforced until a new law changes it.

3096:

A BILL

REVISE THE LOCATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE CARRYING A HANDGUN IS LEGAL; TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-50, RELATING TO PENALTIES ASSOCIATED WITH VIOLATING CERTAIN HANDGUN LAWS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PENALTIES DO NOT APPLY TO A PERSON CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON ONTO A PREMISE THAT DISPLAYS A SIGN THAT PROHIBITS THE CARRYING OF A CONCEALABLE WEAPON; TO AMEND SECTIONS 16-23-420 AND 16-23-430, BOTH RELATING TO THE POSSESSION OF A FIREARM ON SCHOOL PROPERTY, SO AS TO DELETE REFERENCES TO CONCEALED WEAPON PERMITS, TO DELETE THE TERM “WEAPON” AND REPLACE IT WITH THE TERM “FIREARM”, AND TO PROVIDE THAT BOTH SECTIONS DO NOT APPLY TO A PERSON WHO LAWFULLY IS CARRYING A WEAPON SECURED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE; TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-465, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR CARRYING A FIREARM INTO A BUSINESS THAT SELLS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES FOR ON-PREMISE CONSUMPTION, SO AS TO PROVIDE THIS PROVISION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PERSON WHO VIOLATES CERTAIN OFFENSES, AND TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN IT DOES APPLY TO CERTAIN OFFENSES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-215, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES A PERMIT HOLDER TO POSSESS HIS PERMIT IDENTIFICATION WHEN CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON, TO REVISE THE PROVISION THAT LISTS THE PLACES UPON WHICH A PERSON MAY NOT CARRY A CONCEALABLE WEAPON, TO REVISE THE PROVISION THAT ALLOWS CERTAIN PERSONS TO CARRY A CONCEALABLE WEAPON WITHOUT A PERMIT, AND REVISE THE PENALTIES THAT MAY BE IMPOSED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-220, RELATING TO A PROPERTY OWNER’S RIGHT TO ALLOW A HOLDER OF A CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT TO CARRY A WEAPON ONTO HIS PROPERTY, SO AS TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES, TO PROVIDE THIS PROVISION REGULATES BOTH PERSONS WHO POSSESS AND DO NOT POSSESS A CONCEALABLE WEAPONS PERMIT, AND TO PROVIDE THIS PROVISION APPLIES TO A PERSON WHO KNOWINGLY BRINGS A CONCEALABLE WEAPON ONTO A PREMISE OR WORKPLACE; TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-235, RELATING TO THE POSTING OF SIGNS THAT PROHIBIT THE CARRYING OF CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ONTO A PREMISE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THE SIGNAGE PROHIBITS BOTH PERMIT HOLDERS AND NON-PERMIT HOLDERS FROM CARRYING A WEAPON ONTO THE PREMISE; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 16-23-46023-31-225, AND 23-31-230 RELATING TO UNLAWFULLY CARRYING A CONCEALED DEADLY WEAPON, AND CARRYING A CONCEALABLE WEAPON FROM A MOTOR VEHICLE TO CERTAIN RENTAL DWELLINGS.

A good bit of this bill is exactly the same as the other one, so I left out anything that is a repetition to streamline your reading experience. To read the whole thing, go to the links at the beginning of this article. Anything written in black in the other bill is also in this bill.

SECTION    3.    Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 16-23-20.    (A)    It is unlawful, whether or not the person has a concealed weapon permit, for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited authorized by law into a:

    (1)    regular, salaried law enforcement officers, and reserve police officers of a state agency, municipality, or county of the State, uncompensated Governor’s constables, law enforcement officers of the federal government or other states when they are carrying out official duties while in this State, deputy enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources, and retired commissioned law enforcement officers employed as private detectives or private investigators;

    (2)    members of the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard, organized reserves, or the State Militia when on duty;

    (3)    members, or their invited guests, of organizations authorized by law to purchase or receive firearms from the United States or this State or regularly enrolled members, or their invited guests, of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting or collecting modern and antique firearms while these members, or their invited guests, are at or going to or from their places of target practice or their shows and exhibits;

    (4)    licensed hunters or fishermen who are engaged in hunting or fishing or going to or from their places of hunting or fishing while in a vehicle or on foot;

    (5)    a person regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, repossessing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of this person, while possessing, using, or carrying a handgun in the usual or ordinary course of the business;

    (6)    guards authorized by law to possess handguns and engaged in protection of property of the United States or any agency of the United States;

    (7)    members of authorized military or civil organizations while parading or when going to and from the places of meeting of their respective organizations;

    (8)    a person in his home or upon his real property or a person who has the permission of the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of the home or real property;

    (9)    a person in a vehicle if the handgun is:

        (a)    secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle; however, this item is not violated if the glove compartment, console, or trunk is opened in the presence of a law enforcement officer for the sole purpose of retrieving a driver’s license, registration, or proof of insurance. If the person has been issued a concealed weapon permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, then the person also may secure his weapon under a seat in a vehicle, or in any open or closed storage compartment within the vehicle’s passenger compartment; or

        (b)    concealed on or about his person, and he has a valid concealed weapons permit pursuant to the provisions of Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23;

    (10)    a person carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or fixed place of business or while in the process of changing or moving one’s residence or changing or moving one’s fixed place of business;

    (11)    a prison guard while engaged in his official duties;

    (12)    a person who is granted a permit under provision of law by the State Law Enforcement Division to carry a handgun about his person, under conditions set forth in the permit, and while transferring the handgun between the permittee’s person and a location specified in item (9);

    (13)    the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of a fixed place of business, while at the fixed place of business, and the employee of a fixed place of business, other than a business subject to Section 16-23-465, while at the place of business; however, the employee may exercise this privilege only after: (a) acquiring a permit pursuant to item (12), and (b) obtaining the permission of the owner or person in legal control or legal possession of the premises;

    (14)    a person engaged in firearms-related activities while on the premises of a fixed place of business which conducts, as a regular course of its business, activities related to sale, repair, pawn, firearms training, or use of firearms, unless the premises is posted with a sign limiting possession of firearms to holders of permits issued pursuant to item (12);

    (15)    a person while transferring a handgun directly from or to a vehicle and a location specified in this section where one may legally possess the handgun.

    (16)    Any person on a motorcycle when the pistol is secured in a closed saddlebag or other similar closed accessory container attached, whether permanently or temporarily, to the motorcycle.    

        (1)    law enforcement, correctional, or detention facility;

        (2)    courthouse or courtroom;

        (3)    polling place on election day;

        (4)    business meeting or office of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special purpose district;

        (5)    school or college athletic event not related to firearms;

        (6)    daycare facility or preschool facility;

        (7)    place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law;

        (8)    church or other established religious sanctuary;

        (9)    medical clinic, doctor’s office, or any other facility where medical services or procedures are performed unless expressly authorized by the employer;

        (10)    residence or dwelling place of another person; or

        (11)    place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises in compliance with Section 23-31-235. A person who violates a provision of this item, whether the violation is wilful or not, only may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620 and must not be charged with or penalized for a violation of this subsection.

    (B)    The provisions of subsection (A) do not apply to:

        (1)    regular, salaried law enforcement officers, and reserve police officers of a state agency, municipality, or county of the State, uncompensated Governor’s constables, law enforcement officers or other authorized personnel of the federal government or other states when they are carrying out official duties while in this State, deputy enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources, and retired commissioned law enforcement officers employed as private detectives or private investigators;

        (2)    employees of a law enforcement facility, correctional facility, detention facility or courthouse while in the course of employment and where the employment requires the possession of a firearm;

        (3)    members of the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard, organized reserves, or the State Militia when on duty;

        (4)    subject to the limitations of Section 23-31-600(D), persons who meet the definition of ‘qualified retired law enforcement officer’ contained in Section 23-31-600;   

        (5)    a person carrying as authorized by Section 23-31-240; or

        (6)    a person given permission to carry a firearm by the property owner or person in control of the premises or an agent of the owner or person in control of the premises with the authority to give such permission, whether or not the property is posted pursuant to Section 23-31-235.

    (C)    Nothing contained in this section may be construed to alter or affect the provisions of Sections 10-11-320, 16-23-30, 16-23-420, 16-23-430, 16-23-465, 44-23-1080, 44-52-165, and 51-3-145, or the ability for a person to obtain a concealed weapon permit as provided for in Section 23-31-215.”

SECTION    4.    Section 16-23-50(A)(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(2)    A person violating the provisions of Section 16-23-20, except for a violation of Section 16-23-20(A)(11), is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”

The first bill told you where you can carry. This one specifies where you can’t carry.

SECTION    5.    Section 16-23-420 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

The same changes as the other bill listed above.

SECTION    6.    Section 16-23-430 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

Same as above.

SECTION    7.    Section 16-23-465 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 16-23-465.    (A)    In addition to the penalties provided for by Sections 16-11-330, 16-11-620, 16-23-460, 23-31-220, and Article 1, Chapter 23, Title 16, a person convicted of knowingly carrying a firearm into a business which sells alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine for consumption on the premises is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    In addition to the penalties described above, a person who violates this section while carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 must have his concealed weapon permit revoked for a period of five years.

    (B)(1)    This section does not apply to a person otherwise lawfully carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23; however, the person shall firearm who does not consume alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine while carrying the concealable weapon firearm on the business’ premises. A person who violates this item may be charged with a violation of subsection (A).

        (2)    A property owner, holder of a lease interest, or operator of a business may prohibit the carrying of concealable weapons into the business by posting a ‘NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED’ sign in compliance with Section 23-31-235. A person who carries a concealable weapon into a business with a sign posted in compliance with Section 23-31-235 may be charged with a violation of subsection (A).

        (3)    A property owner, holder of a lease interest, or operator of a business may request that a person carrying a concealable weapon leave the business’ premises, or any portion of the premises, or request that a person carrying a concealable weapon remove the concealable weapon from the business’ premises, or any portion of the premises. A person carrying a concealable weapon who refuses to leave a business’ premises or portion of the premises when requested or refuses to remove the concealable weapon from a business’ premises or portion of the premises when requested may be charged with a violation of subsection (A).”

This restates the prohibition against carrying while consuming alcohol in a restaurant and removes language about permits.

SECTION    8.    Section 23-31-215(K), (M), (O), and (U) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(K)    A permit holder must have his permit identification card in his possession whenever he carries a concealable weapon. When carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, a permit holder must inform a law enforcement officer of the fact that he is a permit holder and present the permit identification card when an officer:

        (1)    identifies himself as a law enforcement officer; and

        (2)    requests identification or a driver’s license from a permit holder.

    A permit holder immediately must report the loss or theft of a permit identification card to SLED headquarters within forty-eight hours of the time the permit holder knew or reasonably should have known of the loss or theft. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined twenty-five dollars.

This bill removes the language about reporting the loss of your permit immediately, but keeps the $25 fine and misdemeanor for failing to report the loss of your permit. The other bill drops the charge and the fine but leaves the language about immediate reporting.

    (M)    A permit issued pursuant to this section does not authorize a permit holder to carry a concealable weapon into a: any place listed in Section 16-23-20(A) except as otherwise permitted by law

        (1)    law enforcement, correctional, or detention facility;

        (2)    courthouse or courtroom;

        (3)    polling place on election days;

        (4)    office of or the business meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special purpose district;

        (5)    school or college athletic event not related to firearms;

        (6)    daycare facility or preschool facility;

        (7)    place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law;

        (8)    church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body;

        (9)    hospital, medical clinic, doctor’s office, or any other facility where medical services or procedures are performed unless expressly authorized by the employer; or

        (10)    place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises pursuant to Sections 23-31-220 and 23-31-235. Except that a property owner or an agent acting on his behalf, by express written consent, may allow individuals of his choosing to enter onto property regardless of any posted sign to the contrary. A person who violates a provision of this item, whether the violation is wilful or not, only may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620 and must not be charged with or penalized for a violation of this subsection.

    Except as provided for in item (10), a person who wilfully violates a provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.

    Except as provided in Section 16-23-20(A)(11), a person who wilfully violates a provision of this subsection may be charged with a violation of Section 16-23-20 and in addition to the penalties provided in Section 16-23-20, at the discretion of the court, may have his permit revoked for up to five years.

If you still have a permit, you can have it revoked. You still might want a permit, by the way, because some other states grant you the right to carry in their state based on the fact that you have a permit in your home state.

    Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to alter or affect the provisions of Sections 10-11-320, 16-23-420, 16-23-430, 16-23-465, 44-23-1080, 44-52-165, 50-9-830, and 51-3-145.

    (O)(1)    A permit issued pursuant to this article is not required for a person:

        (1)    specified in Section 16-23-20, items (1) through (5) and items (7) through (11);

            (2)(a)    carrying a self-defense device generally considered to be nonlethal including the substance commonly referred to as ‘pepper gas’; or

            (3)(b)    carrying a concealable weapon in a manner not prohibited by law.

        (2)    The availability of a permit to carry a concealable weapon under this section must not be construed to prohibit the permitless transport or carrying of a firearm in a vehicle or on or about one’s person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded, in a manner not prohibited by law.

    (U)    A concealable weapon permit holder whose permit has been expired for no more than one year may not be charged with a violation of Section 16-23-20 but must be fined not more than one hundred dollars.”

SECTION    9.    Section 23-31-220 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “Section 23-31-220.    Nothing contained in this article shall in any way be construed to limit, diminish, or otherwise infringe upon:

    (1)    the right of a public or private employer to prohibit a person who is licensed under this article otherwise not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun from carrying a concealable weapon upon the premises of the business or work place or while using any machinery, vehicle, or equipment owned or operated by the business; or

    (2)    the right of a private property owner or person in legal possession or control to allow or prohibit the carrying of a concealable weapon upon his premises.

    The posting by the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control of a sign stating ‘No Concealable Weapons Allowed’ shall constitute notice to a person holding a permit issued pursuant to this article that the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control requests that concealable weapons not be brought upon the premises or into the work place. A person who knowingly brings a concealable weapon onto the premises or work place in violation of the provisions of this paragraph may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620. In addition to the penalties provided in Section 16-11-620, a person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this paragraph must have his permit revoked for a period of one year. The prohibition contained in this section does not apply to persons specified in Section 16-23-20, item(B)(1).”

A restatement of the right of a business owner to prohibit weapons on private property.

SECTION    10.    Section 23-31-235(B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

    “(B)    All signs must be posted at each entrance into a building where carrying of a concealable weapon permit holder is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon and must be:

        (1)    clearly visible from outside the building;

        (2)    eight inches wide by twelve inches tall in size;

        (3)    contain the words ‘NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED’ in black one-inch tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;

        (4)    contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle seven inches in diameter with a diagonal line that runs from the lower left to the upper right at a forty-five-degree angle from the horizontal;

        (5)    a diameter of a circle; and

        (6)    placed not less than forty inches and not more than sixty inches from the bottom of the building’s entrance door.”

This is a restatement of the current law for prohibiting concealed carry, without the language about permits.

SECTION    11.    Sections 16-23-460, 23-31-225, and 23-31-230 of the 1976 Code are repealed.

16-23-460 addresses possession of a deadly weapon; 23-32-225 states that you need permission to carry a weapon into another person’s home; 23-31-30 addresses carrying a weapon from a car to a rental dwelling.

SECTION    12.    The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded thereon, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.

SECTION    13.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.—-XX—-

What to Do

Both of these bills are solid and usable as they are. The biggest difference I see is that H. 3039 grants reciprocity with other states that have permits.

There’s a catch there, by the way. When you live in a Constitutional Carry state you don’t need a permit to carry. As soon as you cross a state line, however, you are subject to the laws of the next state.

Most states require you to have a permit from your own state to carry in theirs. You need to keep up your South Carolina permit in order to travel with your gun.

The only way to get rid of permits entirely is to establish a national Constitutional carry policy. That won’t be happening any time soon.

Meanwhile, I recommend you let your legislators know that you like the Constitutional carry bills and would be fine with either one. While you are at it, encourage them to pass the open carry bill that they are also considering.

We need to preserve as many Constitutional rights as we can. The only way we can do that is to be involved in the laws at the grassroots level.

Local precincts reorganize every other year, and this year’s Republican Precinct Reorganization is going on now. Spartanburg County’s Precinct Reorganization is Saturday, March 20 from 1-4 p.m. at High Point Academy.

Find out when your local political groups meet and join them!

Double Eagle Gunworks LLC offers onsite CWP classes and other individual and class training to help you use your gun safely. We can also help you with a gun transfer or take you shopping to find the right gun for your needs.

Contact us, see our calendar, or sign up for our newsletter. Keep reading our blog and watching our YouTube videos.

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Carla Pittman

Carla is a Speech Pathologist working in Home Health by day and a blogger by night. She married Chris in 2008 and is working to help him unite his love of guns with his passion for teaching others to carry safely. Her other impetus for blogging is to make Americans aware of their Constitutional rights, which are at risk in the current political environment.

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