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Governor McMaster Signs Permitless Carry After South Carolina House and Senate Ram Through Legislation


Law Enforcement, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and Others Speak Out Against Reckless Repeal of Permitting Process

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to the South Carolina Senate voting to pass house bill H.3954, a permitless carry bill which would effectively roll back the foundational gun safety policy in South Carolina that requires South Carolinians to have a permit to carry a concealable gun and receive training on carrying a concealed firearm in public. The vote fell almost perfectly along party lines, and prompted opposition from law enforcement officers in the state as well who consider the bill a threat to public safety, and a significant hurdle to their ability to keep communities safe. 

“Let’s make one thing clear: lawmakers are preparing to strip us of one of our last remaining public safety laws – and a decision that will make communities less safe and cost lives. 20 years of United States Air Force Service taught me many things , with one of the key lessons being that people should people should be vetted and trained in order to carry a firearm in public,” said Patty Tuttle, a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Keeping our current system of concealed weapons permitting does not violate anyone’s constitutional rights. This is a simple mechanism that makes all South Carolinians safer.”

“We don’t want to see a single lawmaker who voted to pass permitless carry offer another useless thought or prayer when the next shooting strikes.” said Sabrina Palmer, a volunteer with the Dreher High School Students Demand Action chapter. “Gun extremists in South Carolina know what they’re doing. They’ve seen all the numbers and know all the risks, and still they decided to put the gun lobby’s agenda over our right to live. When our ‘leaders’ response to this crisis is by putting more guns in more places, it’s time for new leadership.”

Permitless carry laws strip away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from carrying a loaded weapon in public. This bill has prompted opposition from law enforcement officers in the state, who consider the bill a threat to public safety. Law enforcement has repeatedly made it clear that this legislation would create a significant hurdle in their efforts to keep communities safe. Permitless carry legislation has been staunchly opposed by law enforcement in other states across the country. 

South Carolina’s concealed handgun permitting system currently requires training on how to carry firearms responsibly in public. Moving to permitless carry would strip away this critical safety component, while also allowing for more guns in cars, on campuses, and school grounds without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training, effectively dismantling South Carolina’s system of responsible gun ownership. 

What to know about permitless carry:

Polling also shows that permitting systems are overwhelmingly popular. 88 percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public.