North Charleston community comes together for town hall on gun violence

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 8:35 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Citizens, pastors, police chiefs and lawmakers all got together in North Charleston today to talk about gun violence.

Representatives Wendell Gilliard and Marvin Pendarvis hosted the Town Hall.

People who were there said they have concerns about South Carolina’s new open carry gun law that will go into effect in mid-August.

The law will allow gun owners in our state to openly carry a firearm as long as they have a concealed weapons permit.

North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess opposed the law and got emotional as he pulled out poster boards with pictures of homicide victims in recent years. “Let’s keep it real. This is what’s going on right here. Every day in our community. These mothers are crying every day. Burying. We have to go to wakes. Funerals,” he said. “We have to escort them to the doggone cemeteries and back every week.”

Local activist and mother Monica Jefferson shared her story of losing her son to gun violence on his eighteenth birthday.

She said there’s still not been an arrest. Monica Jefferson said, “Not only do I not have justice, I don’t have closure. So I have to fight this each and every day. Let me tell you... as long as I have breath in my body, I will always be the voice for Malcom C. Jefferson.”

The new law requires training in order to get a concealed weapon permit to open carry.

A SLED representative was also at the town hall and said they are working on developing that training.

There will no longer be a $50 fee for the CPW permit.

Democratic lawmakers at today’s event said that will cause a $5 Million shortfall for SLED, the agency in charge of the permits and training.

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