South Carolina is one of only six states banning the open carry of handguns. In most states, adults may lawfully carry unconcealed handguns without any permit.
But now Representative Dan Cooper (R – Anderson County) wants to change that.
Cooper has introduced H. 3003, a bill to make South Carolina like most states where anyone legally allowed to own a handgun may carry it openly without any permit. Folks who want to carry their handguns "concealed" will still need a concealed weapons permit.
And with 32 co-sponsors, including some heavy hitters, and considering that Cooper is the influential Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, it sure looks like H. 3003 is goin’ to have some legs!
H. 3003 comes on the heels of an online petition in South Carolina with almost 2,000 signatures calling for the decriminalization of open carry. See the petition here.
The United States Supreme Court said recently in the DC Gun Ban case that the Second Amendment secures the right to keep "carry" arms, but not concealed arms, citing to a line of cases upholding the constitutional right to open carry. Notably, neighboring North Carolina’s Supreme Court has held that under that state’s constitution, no license may be required to openly carry handguns. See State v. Kerner, 107 S.E. 222 (1921).
OpenCarry.org strongly endorses Representative Dan Cooper’s effort to decriminalize open carry in South Carolina, and our South Carolina members will be actively working to ensure this effort’s success.