There was a momentous occurrence in South Carolina when Governor Henry McMaster signed new gun law that has led to national conversations. The citizens of the state have been captivated by this incident and it has also sparked debates among political analysts, legal experts, and all the others from across the nation.

This law is considered as a major change in gun control policy of the state and has received both applause and criticism at the same time for that reason. This blog will explore more about this event – how it happened, who were involved, what can we expect.

The Ceremonial Bill Signing

The ceremonial bill signing represented a turning point in South Carolina’s legislative history. In attendance were key politicians, security officers and supporters of this bill; their contributions towards its passing were critical.

Source: Flickr/Drtreypennington

It was through the presence of attendees who held varied perspectives and interests that the state made a clear move towards providing better rights concerning guns to their people. The signing of this legislation went beyond just being an official function but rather acted as a show of support for the second amendment rights while fueling debates on gun control once again.

Who is Governor Henry McMaster?

Governor Henry McMaster is currently serving his term as governor since January 24th, 2017 making him South Carolina’s 117th Governor. He is a Republican Party member known for his conservative views including those on guns’ ownership rights.

Source: Flickr/Henry McMaster

He did not go away from his line by approving this new legislation which aims at safeguarding these rights for residents of South Carolina.

An Overview Of The New Gun Law

Referred to as “Open Carry with Training Act,” new gun regulation signifies massive changes in South Carolina’s stance towards firearms control policies within its territories. This law allows individuals with concealed weapons permit (CWP) to carry firearms publicly. According to advocates; they feel like it enhances citizen’s Second Amendment Rights, while those opposing it argue as to whether it has any risk concerns that involve issues of public order.

Source: Flickr/Henry McMaster

The new law has since abolished the initial $50 charge for obtaining a CWP. This is an attempt to make gun ownership more widespread among people. However, the legislation also obligates State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to give free online CWP training course.

Open Carry: What Does It Mean?

The term “open carry” refers to the practice of carrying a firearm in public where it is visible. In this context, under the new South Carolina law, individuals with a valid CWP may carry their firearms openly without concealing them.

Source: Flickr/Michael Tefft

This represents a major change in policy from previous provisions that required guns to be hidden when carried in public.

Are There Any Changes in Police Procedures?

With the advent of this new law, there are expected adjustments in police procedures. Consequently, officers will now need to be trained on how they can handle situations where civilians carry guns openly.

Source: Flickr/Lars Plougmann

These techniques could include de-escalation techniques and understanding the rights of gun owners under the new law.

Impact on Vehicle Gun Storage

Implications of the new law on how guns are stored inside cars may be a possibility. It was that previously they only had to be enclosed in glove compartments, consoles or trunks.

Source: Reddit

With an open carry law, it could mean that gun owners may now opt to keep their firearms in full view while driving without them being concealed within their cars, although it will be necessary to confirm this with local police or an attorney.

Concealed Weapons Permits Are Still Available

Despite the new open-carry law, people can still get a concealed weapon permit (CWP) if they prefer to keep their firearms out of sight.

Source: Flickr/Eli Christman

The method of obtaining a CWP remains unchanged and individuals with a CWP will have the freedom to display their weapon in public or keep it hidden.

Free Training Need To Be Provided Across the State

With this in mind, South Carolina’s Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has been compelled by legislation to provide an online free CWP training course for gun owners.

Source: Pixabay/Brett_Hondow

This course aims at enlightening firearm holders on issues regarding security, including safe storage and handling. Additionally, it seeks to inform them concerning their privileges and responsibilities under the constitutionally enshrined statute.

The Budget Allocation for Firearm Training

In order to enable the provision of free training, there is specific budget provided by the state. This budget will cover costs associated with creating and up keeping an online program as well as other expenses related to the training programme.

Source: Flickr/Diplomatic Security Service

Although no exact figure is given for this budget in the Act, it may be changed by program needs

Supporters of the Law Believe In Second Amendment

Such advocates have considered this regulation as a success since they are strong believers in Second Amendment rights that protect arms-bearing citizens all over America through its Constitution.

Source: Flickr/Florida Fish and Wildlife

The supporters assert that its implementation has led to more individual liberty while making sure that those who obey laws remain secure.

What Is The Opposition to the Law?

However, there have been some voices raised against the law from certain sectors within society despite its backing by many South Carolinians. Some critics argue that it could increase cases of gun violence hence posing risk towards public safety.

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Among other reasons given by those opposing this amendment who feel like it would make police officers unable to discern between criminals and rightful civilians.

Will The Law Impact Age Restrictions?

Gun ownership age limitations have not been changed under this new law. In South Carolina, an individual has to be at least 21 years old in order to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer.

Source: Pexels/Byron Sullivan

However, the law does not stop someone aged 18-20 from buying a pistol through private sale or give-away.

The Constitutional Perspective On Open Carry

They argue that the enactment of this law secures citizens’ rights as enshrined in the Second Amendment. They believe that bearing arms is a fundamental right which should never be denied anyone. This new regulation will therefore strengthen this right by allowing ordinary citizens to move around with guns for self-defense and personal security; hence being able to openly carry firearms in public areas.

Source: Flickr/Jonathan Thorne

Critics also cite the “well-regulated Militia” phrase contained in the second amendment which they contend means some kind of controls over firearm ownership. Consequently, they claim that there was always a desire among those who crafted our constitution to ensure that public safety is always balanced against the right to bear arms.

South Carolina A Haven for Gun Owners

South Carolina is widely known to have lenient gun laws from time immemorial. In fact, the state’s laws often favor lovers of firearms than strict regulations for them.

Source: Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM

This has drawn numerous arms enthusiasts to this area and led to the development of a culture that appreciates an interest in gun ownership as an inherent right. Thus, South Carolina is one of the states in the US with most liberal gun laws.

The Correlation Between Gun Violence and Gun Laws

The relationship between violence caused by guns and policies governing their usage has been controversial. Some researchers say that stricter gun laws reduce violence related to guns.

Source: Flickr/Michelle Ress

Others argue that these measures only violate rights of law abiding citizens without preventing crime. So, many things are involved when looking at curbing gun violence.

Public Opinion on the New Law

The public opinion over the new law is majorly divided, reflecting how intricate and confused the whole issue is. Those who support it allege that it safeguards citizens’ Second Amendment rights. They claim that it prevents law-breaking acts since there is a chance every member of society could be armed as a protection measure against crime.

Source: Flickr/Lorie Shaull

Conversely, critics are worried about the security of members of the public and increased gun violence in general. They fear more accidental shootings or escalations in conflicts because this legislation will foster these kinds of violence associated with guns.

What Will The Future Implications of the Law Be?

No one knows what will happen because of this law in future years? There’s a possibility that societal attitudes towards gun ownership will be altered accordingly.

Source: Flickr/lifesizepotato

It might also impact other states’ legislations by inspiring similar laws or calling for tighter gun control measures.

New Legislation Will Affect Perceptions On Gun Possesion

South Carolina’s recent enactment of an open carry statute represents an epoch-making event in its history.

Source: Pix4Free

We should also keep track on how this legislation affects public safety, individual liberties as well as social perceptions regarding gun possession.

History of Open Carrying In The United States

Open carrying has roots dating back to the very beginning of America as an independent state itself. US Constitution Second amendment ratified 1791 says: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. However, interpretations concerning this amendment have evolved over time resulting into different gun laws among states.

Source: Pixabay

At present, open carry laws range from total freedom to some states allowing concealed firearms only if one obtains permission from relevant authorities whereas others forbid having such weapons under any circumstances.