The South Carolina House passed permitless carry legislation on Wednesday, thereby continuing the momentum behind abolishing concealed permit requirements on a state-by-state basis.
Currently, 12 states require no permit for exercising the Second Amendment right to bear arms: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia. While certain parts of Arkansas and Montana still require a permit, the vast majority of both states, 99.4 percent, allow concealed carry without a permit as well.
The Independent Mail reports the South Carolina bill will allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns “concealed or in the open.” State Rep. Mike Pitts (R-14) sponsored the bill.
The Post and Courier quoted Pitts saying, “This bill is a very simple bill. It means, by definition of the Constitution, it gives you the ability to keep and bear arms without having to be permitted by the country.”
State Rep. Justin Bamberg (D-90) voiced concern with the bill: “If I’m an African-American male on the Battery in downtown Charleston and I’m open-carrying at 1 or 2 in the morning, which I’ll legally be able to do, is my very being, the very breath in my body going to give law enforcement probable cause to stop me?”
State Rep. Mike Ryhal (R-56) believes the bill should require law-abiding citizens to pass tests before carrying, and he does not believe open carry should necessarily be included. In fact, the Post and Courier reported Ryahl saying that “he didn’t think responsible gun owners really are opposed to taking a test or that it was necessary to openly carry a weapon.”
Pitts’ bill passed the House by a vote of 64 to 46.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.