Pee Dee deputies prepare for McMaster to sign open carry bill

Pee Dee

SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina is moving closer to allowing people with concealed weapons permits to open carry their guns.

The state legislature passed the ‘Open Carry with Training’ bill Wednesday.

The bill hasn’t been ratified yet, but the governor’s office told News13 Thursday McMaster plans to sign it into law once it reaches his desk.

Once the governor signs it, the bill would take 90 days to go into effect.

“My understanding is that’s to allow for SLED to revamp the concealed weapon permit curriculum to include guidance and instruction on open carry,” Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said. “And also time to allow law enforcement to train.”

Major Nunn said the grace period will be a time for law enforcement agencies to come up with ‘policies and procedures on how to deal with folks carrying hand guns openly.’

Police say education will be critical ahead of the proposed changes.

“It’s up to our citizens to do due diligence and read the law before they change any part of their regular carry,” Executive Director of South Carolina Police Chiefs Assn. “JJ” Jones said.

Under the bill, businesses would still be able to prohibit concealable weapons.

Owner of 707 Gun Shop and Indoor Shooting Range Robert Battista is concerned that more businesses will do so if more people open carry.

“Once people start open carrying, it’s going to make more businesses not want weapons in their businesses,” he said. “Because now they’re going to be exposed.”

Count on News13 for updates on the bill.

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