Last week, the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee debated a bill commonly known as “Constitutional Carry.” While the bill was intended to expand lawful gun rights, it would also have granted convicted felons the right to legally carry firearms in a variety of public and private places.
Sixteen of my fellow senators and I voted not to send the bill out of committee. Only four senators voted to send the bill to the Senate floor. Since our vote last Tuesday, I have had numerous inquiries from constituents about my vote and therefore felt a letter to the editor would be helpful to the public’s understanding of the issue.
According to its sponsor, the intended purpose of the bill was to allow people to carry firearms concealed or openly without receiving “permission” from the government. Unfortunately, the bill would also have eliminated the firearms training required by the current concealed weapons permit law.
Furthermore, and more troubling, the bill would have permitted convicted rapists, burglars, drug dealers, thieves and a host of other felons to legally carry firearms without training or a background check.
I am a lifelong hunter and strong supporter of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms; however, this proposal went too far and it was properly defeated after a fair and full hearing.
The writer lives in Columbia and is the state senator representing Horry and Dillon counties.