Guns

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Pushes Law Allowing Open, Concealed Carry Without Permits

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she’d like to see the state senate pass a proposal that would allow people to carry guns – concealed or in the open – without a permit.

The Republican governor signed a bill into law Tuesday that allows anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring a gun into a bar or any other establishment that serves alcohol.

“The idea of going into a restaurant and having to leave [your gun] in your car causes concern on whether it will be stolen ... because as a CWP [concealed weapons permit] holder you are responsible for your gun,” Haley said. “When it is not with you, you are concerned about who else it could be with or if somebody else could get it.”

But Haley wants to see the law taken a step further. Open carry is currently prohibited in the state, but the Constitutional Carry Act would change that. It would eliminate the permitting and training requirement for carrying a gun in public.

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“Criminals are dangerous, and I think that every resident should be allowed to protect themselves from criminals,” she said during the bill signing.

The measure, sponsored by State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, who is running for U.S. Senate, says businesses can opt out by posting signs prohibiting guns on their property.

The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense fought the bar and restaurant bill, stating that alcohol and concealed weapons don’t mix.

“I agree that alcohol and guns don’t mix,” Haley responded. “They never will. And that is why it’s illegal.”

A gun death occurs in South Carolina every 14 hours, according to ThinkProgress.

Sources: The State, ThinkProgress