Open Carry of Handguns in South Carolina
The South Carolina State Legislature and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
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1. Every individual has the right and responsibility to defend their self against unjustified threats of death or serious bodily injury.
2. The Constitution of the United States guarantees the right of individuals to keep and bear arms.
3. Criminals are not deterred by rules, regulations or laws forbidding the possession of weapons. A man bent on mass murder will not be stopped by a rule forbidding him to have a gun.
4. It is well known that the requirement to conceal a handgun for the purpose of protecting self, friends, and family can be difficult especially in South Carolina with our extreme heat since a person will usually have to wear a jacket to properly conceal a handgun and to avoid "printing.
5. The requirement to conceal a handgun can make it difficult to draw the weapon should the life of the carrier or the life of someone else be in danger.
6. A criminal will not open carry a weapon because he does not want to draw attention to himself. We believe that a citizen openly carrying a handgun lawfully will be a deterrent for crime.
7. Ten states including Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont, and Wyoming all allow open carry of handguns without a license. Twelve states including Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, and Tennessee allow open carry of handguns with a license. In fact, South Carolina is one of only SIX states in the entire United States that completely bans open carry of handguns in public.
8. In these states, Open Carry is very common and it does not alarm law enforcement or other citizens.
For the foregoing reasons, we residents of the State of South Carolina affirm and assert that all citizens who may lawfully purchase a handgun be allowed to carry openly in public in the State of South Carolina except for those places prohibited by law. We also call for state preemption of all handgun laws concerning open carry in South Carolina.