Yesterday, the Senate voted 28-16 to pass House Bill 3094, the open carry bill. Though the constitutional carry amendment failed, the Senate did manage to adopt an amendment to eliminate the fee for a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP). H. 3094 now goes back to the House for further action.
House Bill 3094 allows citizens who hold a CWP to carry a handgun in the manner they choose. At the moment, South Carolina is just like New York and California in not allowing open carry of handguns. Self-defense situations are difficult to predict and everyone has different circumstances. It is unreasonable for the law to impose a one-size-fits-all method of carrying a handgun for self-defense.
The Senate amended version eliminates the $50 application fee for a CWP. This is especially important following the economic turmoil of the past year, ensuring that all law-abiding citizens can have their right to self-defense regardless of financial ability and without having to buy it back from the government.