New state law to change open carry in South Carolina

Published: May. 18, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The new Open Carry with Training Act changes how South Carolinians can carry their gun throughout the day.

“So now it might be a little bit easier to jump out of your car if you have a weapon on as I do to run in and get some gas or a pack of cigarettes as it relates to not taking it off and leaving it in the car,” said Edward Soto, with Palmetto Indoor Range.

Essentially, someone with a concealed carry permit can now openly carry their gun.

“Prior to this law, South Carolina was one of five states in the U.S. that do not allow the public to openly carry handguns,” said Brian Nelson, owner of Lighting Tactical and Training.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) released a statement reminding people businesses still have the right to ban guns in their buildings.

“The law does not change where you can and cannot carry. It doesn’t change the requirements for getting a permit,” Nelson said.

Plus, the only way you can carry a concealed weapon is to get the proper training. With the new law, as long as you come to a certified gun range, like the Palmetto Indoor Range, and learn how to properly use a firearm, you can get your concealed carry permit.

“It’s a process that you have to go through, the citizenry of South Carolina go through that process not only for the training but to be qualified,” Soto said.

The law also waives the $50 fee you needed to get the permit. But some experts do not believe it will influence more people to get their concealed weapon permit.

“It’s not necessarily going to give anybody that didn’t already have the ability to obtain a concealed weapon permit that ability,” Nelson said.

The law does not go into effect until August 16, so those that already have a concealed weapon permit should not be openly carrying until then.

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