Yay! As of Friday, June 3rd, 2016 Georgians who possess a current Georgia Weapons license may now carry their firearms in the great state of South Carolina. Uncork the champagne and blow the noisemakers!
SC Governor Nikki Haley, and the SC Legislators who passed HB 3799 deserve our thanks.
However, there are still some flies in the soup.
In South Carolina, you must hide your pistol from plain view with a cover garment, purse, fanny pack, or some other concealment option. There, your license to carry does not include carrying openly. That could get you jailed, and that's not good.
Most criminals are opportunistic, and will attack someone they believe to be unarmed. If you cannot carry your pistol openly, then a criminal could believe you to be unarmed. In SC you are prohibited from preemptively deterring such an attack, but can only respond once it begins by pulling your concealed weapon and firing it if necessary.
I prefer to not shoot anyone, and am glad that in my home state of Georgia, I can and do carry my Glock 23 or CZ75B openly. My visible gun lets most criminals know it might be best to choose a different target. Sure, a few crazies may try to attack me to get my gun, but I have a some tricks up my sleeve to deal with that if and when that should happen.
It's ironic that two southern states that are supposed to be about freedom, Florida and South Carolina, feel that an openly carried pistol is just too much for citizens to handle, even though open carry is legal in 45 other states.
Also, in SC there's just too many off-limits places. Any publicly owned building, whether a library, museum, or visitor center is illegal to carry a firearm in. SC really needs to get true state preemption.
Do criminals avoid public buildings?
If not, then I should be able to carry anywhere a criminal can carry. Most public buildings in SC have no weapons screening at all. So maybe I'll carry in them anyway, since I will have to conceal anyway. I'll only carry my gun for the purpose of keeping myself and my family safe, so they shouldn't mind if I break a malum prohibitum law designed to penalize the good guys instead of the bad guys.
Will I bite the hand that feeds?
Yeah, a little. Making me look like any other unarmed person makes me a potential target to most criminals. That's not good. It's also not good that it will take more time to draw from concealment if I have to draw my gun. I can draw much faster with my open carry holsters when nothing covers them to get in the way. That time delay could be critical.
So what am I going to do in SC? Same thing I will when I visit Florida. I'll openly wear an empty holster with a lid cover that looks like it could have something in it. That's perfectly legal in both Florida and SC. I may even wear a t-shirt that states I am lawfully armed.
It's high time that both Florida and SC get on the freedom train with 45 other states and decriminalize the open carry of pistols.
Agree or disagree with open carry being a good idea or not. At least you should be able to agree with me that I should not be subject to being put behind bars just for wearing a holstered, visible pistol.
Just who is it that says our Second Amendment Rights must be exercised in secret when going about our business in public? Busybodies?