S.C. constitutional carry bill draws criticism due to lack of training requirement

The bill is drawing criticism.
The bill is drawing criticism.(Source: WMBF News)
Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - South Carolina’s constitutional carry bill entered the state Senate Thursday, one day after the House approved it.

The bill would allow people to openly carry a gun without training or a permit.

It is drawing criticism from even those who consider themselves strong Second Amendment supporters.

Chuck Dunn, the store manager at Cormac Arms and Outfitters in Myrtle Beach, has some concerns with the bill.

“We applaud your Second Amendment rights,” Dunn said. “We’re behind them 100%. Also dealing in guns, we kind of hope that there’s somehow some training attached to this, because you feel if someone buys a firearm, they need to be shown how to properly use it.”

Elizabeth Bowens, the president of South Carolina Mothers Against Violence, strongly opposes the bill.

“Until they bury a child, a loved one so close until it done hit home, reality will sit in then,” Bowens said.

The issue hits close to home for Bowens. She lost her son Tony Hemingway to gun violence several years ago.

“April the ninth is when my son was killed,” she said. “April the ninth. A day that I’ll never forget.”

The bill’s future lies in the hands of the state Senate. Bowens is hoping senators go a different direction.

“I’m just praying that they don’t pass it,” she said. “That’s the only thing I can do is just pray that they do not pass this.”

Dunn is hoping the bill doesn’t go through as is either.

“I would like to see them mandate some type of training, whether it falls under the realm of a former concealed weapons permit training, or at least be able to show that you had some type of training when you purchase that firearm for first-time gun owners,” Dunn said.

This bill is not to be confused with the open carry bill that’s also been approved by the South Carolina House.

That proposal would require training in order to carry a firearm openly.

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