State Senate Passes Open Carry Bill, Provides Free Training to Citizens

( – Permitless carry, or constitutional carry, laws are prevalent around the country. South Carolina is the latest state to vote on one of the bills. However, the Palmetto State is also offering something important to all law-abiding residents.

On February 1, the South Carolina Senate passed The South Carolina Constitutional Carry/Second Amendment Preservation Act of 2023. The bill was debated in the state’s upper chamber for two weeks before it passed. The long debate period was the result of some Republicans seeking to remove a training requirement that was part of the legislation.

The Southern state currently requires residents who want to openly carry firearms to complete a training course to receive their permit. The new bill will get rid of those permitting and training requirements. Residents would still be allowed to obtain a concealed carry permit if they chose to do so, but it would not be mandatory to open-carry. Guns would still be banned in places like houses of worship, schools, courthouses, and other locations.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (R) was not in favor of removing the training requirement. He introduced an amendment seeking to offer free firearms training classes that will be run by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The courses would be offered twice a month, at minimum, in every county. The amendment also included an enhanced penalty for people who don’t have a concealed carry permit and carry a weapon in a prohibited location. Also, there will be a marketing campaign to get the word out to residents about the enhanced penalties.

Massey’s amendment appeared to have done the trick. The bill passed the Senate 28-15. One Democrat voted for the legislation, and one Republican opposed it. The legislation is now headed back to the state House. Lawmakers in the House must agree to the changes before it goes to Governor Henry McMaster (R) for his signature.

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