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New rule could make it harder to travel with guns in Horry, Georgetown counties

Got guns?

By March you probably won’t be allowed to travel with them if you ride the bus.

Coast RTA CEO Brian Piascik said during a service and public affairs committee meeting that the transport authority is planning to revise the bus system’s passenger code of conduct by March, including new rules that ban weapons.

“If someone is on-duty and they have a weapon, they can be allowed to board,” Piascik said. “But I don’t think there’s any issues with us telling folks that ‘hey, you can’t bring a gun or knife or anything on a bus.’”

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The Coast RTA board of directors wanted the changes due to recent shootings around the country, said Piascik, who added that drivers would “in very short order” get active shooter training from Horry County police.

Coast RTA is citing state law that allows businesses to prevent people from bringing weapons on the premises, and although the statute is written for buildings, the transport authority believes it can be applied to buses as well.

“We’re still working on the legal side of that, but it’s our understanding the statute allows us to not allow even a permitted concealed weapon on a vehicle,” Piascik said.

The new rules could be difficult to enforce, said Piascik, given that concealed weapons, by definition, are hidden out of sight. But the buses are equipped with cameras in case anyone presents a weapon on board.

“Certainly if they’re caught with it or if there’s a crime that goes on, we can certainly prosecute them,” he said. “It’s just something that we want to give our passengers as much security as we can.”

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian

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