South Carolina Joins Constitutional Carry Majority

On Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed a bill into law allowing permitless firearm carry in the state. It makes South Carolina the 29th state to adopt what is commonly referred to as a “constitutional carry” law. It is a significant step toward properly recognizing Second Amendment rights at the state and local levels.

The law was supported by a wide majority in both the South Carolina Senate and House and eliminates the need for eligible citizens over 18 to secure a government-approved permit to carry a firearm in public. Advocates have hailed this legislation as a milestone in protecting individual liberties, particularly the right to self-defense without governmental oversight or advance permission.

However, the bill has some restrictions and conditions. While it significantly liberalizes gun-carrying regulations, it maintains prohibitions in specific locations, such as schools, government buildings and medical facilities. Furthermore, the bill creates a two-tiered system of penalties for gun law violations, with sterner consequences for non-permit holders. Legal analysts believe that could have a discriminatory effect that would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Critics, mainly from the Democratic camp, have expressed concerns over the potential increase in crime and gun-related deaths, arguing that more firearms in public could exacerbate violence. Yet, proponents counter that the law empowers law-abiding citizens, especially women seeking to protect themselves from harm. Moreover, numerous national studies have shown that enacting permitless carry laws has coincided with reducing violent crime.

The NRA played a crucial role in the passage of this bill through its lobbying efforts and public education campaign. NRA interim Executive Vice President and CEO Andrew Arulanandam praised the new South Carolina law and pointed out the unwavering support of the NRA and its members for constitutional carry statutes nationwide.

The broader implications of South Carolina’s law, and others like it, challenge federal efforts to regulate firearms as with previous instances of state defiance of federal law and regulations on issues such as marijuana, the passage of permitless carry laws could directly challenge federal gun control measures that arguably violate the Second Amendment.

In this critical election year, Americans must bring President Donald Trump back to the White House to address the administrative regulatory state’s attack on constitutional rights and appoint federal judges committed to the American tradition and the rule of law.