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Many concerned about bill that would eliminate need for concealed weapon permits

(Source: AP Stock Graphic) (Source: AP Stock Graphic)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Today the familiar sounds of a Marie Sahnger's barber shop were overpowered by the sounds of democracy and debate.

"I don't see anything wrong with people having a gun. They need a gun for protection,” Sahnger said.

"What are we really talking about?” asked her customer, Fred Reyes. “The opportunity to have a pistol because my relative or my neighbor has one?"

The discussion comes just a day after the house passed a bill that would allow people in South Carolina to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Representative Alan Clemmons sponsored the bill. He says bad people will use guns for bad things, good people won't. 

He says everyone has a second amendment right, and concealed carry restricts it. "Just to let anybody carry a gun and carry it in their pocket, no,” Sahnger said.

"I know everybody is screaming about our second amendment right but we have to take a look at it in today's world,” replied Reyes.

While you may think gun shops would be the biggest supporters of a bill like this, but some, like the owners here at the 707 Gun Shop say it's not as much the permit that's the problem, it's what you learn in these classrooms when you get it. "I don't understand why you would fight it. It's just one day. It's just one day out of your life that could make a huge difference later on down the road,” said Robert Battista with the 707 Gun Shop.

Battista says this bill is overlooking something important. To get a concealed weapons permit, you have to take a class teaching you important things like your rights and state laws.

"You need a driver's license to drive,” He explained. “You have to prove you have the ability. You have to prove that you understand the laws. I don't think a concealed weapons permit is any different than a driver's license,” Battista said.

Those folks back in the barber shop agree too. Both believe no matter where they stand on concealed weapons, education comes first. Without that permit, they worry about who may be coming in the door.

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