SC’s open carry law changes Aug. 15. Here’s what gun owners need to know
A newly passed state law allowing those with concealed carry permits to openly carry their firearms in South Carolina will go into effect August 15, the State Law Enforcement Division said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
With this new law, there are some changes that gun owners should be aware of, SLED officials wrote.
For those who are looking for a license for concealed weapons or want to renew or replace an existing one, the application fee is waived under the new law. SLED will return all money orders attached to applications postmarked on or after August 15th.
However, if an application is postmarked before August 15th, SLED must request and accept the fee payment.
"Since these fees are stipulated by law, SLED cannot do without them," says the SLED statement.
In addition, all applications for permits for concealed weapons that are postmarked or received on or after August 15 must be provided with a “proof of training”, according to the SLED declaration.
This training record consists of an "original document or a certified copy of the document" given to an applicant certifying that he or she has completed a basic or advanced training course in handguns approved by law enforcement agencies or a nationally recognized organization in the past three years that promotes gun safety for years. This course must include information on laws and jurisdiction in South Carolina relating to handguns and the use of lethal force, information on the use and safety of handguns, information on proper storage practices, the actual firing of at least 25 rounds with an instructor who is proper Carrying a firearm in a holster, “cocked and locked”, how to react to someone trying to take your firearm from you, and de-escalation techniques and strategies.
No additional training is required for applicants whose documents are received or postmarked before August 15. It is also not required for holders of existing permits or those seeking an extension or replacement.
Concealed carry under a permit law was approved on May 17th by S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster enacted. It had an implementation deadline of 90 days, which means it wouldn't come into effect until August 15th.
The delay was incorporated into the bill by senators who said it would give law enforcement time to educate the police and the public about the new law.
The bill was heavily criticized by law enforcement agencies and medical professionals as it went through the legislature earlier this year.
There have been attempts to remove the requirement for a permit from the draft law, but these have been vigorously rejected on several occasions.
Carrying of guns on State House grounds, as well as in businesses and buildings where signage is either concealed or open firearms is prohibited, remains completely prohibited. Guns are also prohibited on school premises when students are in class or engaged in extracurricular activities. However, the law allows concealed or open carrying on school premises when a church is renting space within the school for a service or official church activity and students are absent.
The law also allows cities and counties to temporarily restrict open wearing during permitted events, which may include public protests, rallies, parades, festivals, fairs, and other organized events. Signs must be put up around the event so the public will know.
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