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State House

‘Constitutional Carry’ Bill Passes South Carolina House

“It comes down to being able to protect yourself …”

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South Carolina is one step closer to adopting something that is already on the books in twenty-five other states. Its official title is “The Constitutional Carry and Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

The House gave final approval to this legislation (H. 3594) on Thursday.

“Essentially, it comes down to being able to protect yourself, but not needing your permission slip from the government to exercise your Second Amendment freedom,” said state representative Bobby Cox of Greenville. “That’s really the core issue of what we’re trying to do.”

Cox is the lead sponsor of the bill – and he’s been down this road before. This measure passed the House last session, only to be rejected as an amendment in the Senate.



The current bill is similar to last session’s proposal. Legal gun owners could carry their weapons concealed or open where they can legally do so without a permit. Firearms would still be excluded from places where they are currently prohibited, such as schools, courthouses, post offices, churches, and other places. And there would be no changes to background checks.

So, what’s different this time around? Cox says the climate in South Carolina is now ready for constitutional carry. He noted that with citizens increasingly concerned about violent crime, they want the ability to protect themselves and their property. And he adds the political atmosphere is supportive, too.

“Unlike the rest of the country, we had a very big red wave in South Carolina (last November), and so there is an expectation and a mandate to get conservative measures through,” Cox said. “We’ve done a pretty good job so far on pro-life, anti-CRT; now we’re taking up this.The House is really sensing that and so you have a lot of vocal new members who were wanting to see these measures passed.”  

Some conservative House members were concerned the bill would increase the ability of the government to deny gun ownership by expanding the current ban on people convicted of certain felonies to anyone convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison, with the exception of certain business crimes. An amendment striking that section of the bill was defeated.      

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Firearms for sale (Getty)

But Cox stands behind the measure. He added it’s important to remember whose rights are at stake in this issue. “We always focus on the criminal. We always (restrict) law-abiding citizens while criminals don’t follow laws. So instead of restricting law-abiding citizens’ right to carry firearms this just expands it.”

The bill now goes to the Senate, where its future is once again uncertain.

In addition to South Carolina, the Florida and Nebraska legislatures are considering adopting similar measures.

“I really want us to be the twenty-sixth state,” Cox concluded. “I wish we were a pioneer in this, but twenty-five other states have done it and it hasn’t turned into the wild, wild west in those states. So I’m excited about it.”



Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at



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Observer February 24, 2023 at 11:58 am

The likes of Luke Rankin and so many RINOs in the Senate are our biggest problem. If they again defeat restoring rights taken long ago, hopefully they will experience loss of their Senate position at long last.

The predictions of “The Wild West” and “blood flowing in the streets” in states that have passed permit less carry just have not come to pass. The people doing almost 100% of the shooting, as well as many of their victims, are already prohibited from even possessing a gun due to prior criminal history.

Kroger Shopper February 27, 2023 at 7:06 am

Yeah, nobody is getting shot for simple altercations at stores or anything.

Observer February 27, 2023 at 9:11 pm

Your point is pointless. The idiot that did the shooting here, likely could not legally own a gun to begin with due to prior mental or criminal history. This is the case with most such shootings in the Greater Columbia Area, these days. Restoring citizens’ right to carry so they can be on equal footing with criminals is NOT a bad thing.

Swampfox1776 February 24, 2023 at 7:03 pm

Our right to keep and bear arms is every man’s and woman’s birth right. Requiring permission from the state to exercise a fundamental right is blatantly unconstitutional.

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”

Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria.

Joe Biden February 24, 2023 at 11:55 pm

LOL guns guns guns. good job house. to hell with those that need plants for help. They will have to be criminals.

KC February 25, 2023 at 9:56 am

Word around Kershaw County has it that if Penry G helps block this Constitutional Carry bill as she did the last time, she will be a private citizen after Nov, 2024.

Neal Player Top fan February 25, 2023 at 3:58 pm

It is our constitutional right to own and carry a firearm in America. All you folks in the Senate should now put on your big boy and ladies’ pants and pass this law!

Ron DeSantos February 27, 2023 at 7:08 am

Sure, you can carry, but, uh, not at any of my events, but, uh, it’s totally not by my request or anything!

N Berrios February 25, 2023 at 7:45 pm

Looking forward to the Constitutional Carry bill passing in the SC Senate. I purchased a gun several months ago for the first time due to the increasing violence against older individuals.

aceers February 26, 2023 at 11:07 pm

please go to a range and fire 300-500 rounds. be proficient with it. be able to load and unload with your eyes closed. rule of 3….most encounters happen 3 yards or less distance, 3 seconds or less, 3 shots or less. my point is….it’s gonna happen close, fast, and you only get a shot or two to neutralize the threat. and above all, if you have small children entering the home, ever. then lock it up, they make quick safes that will unlock with a fingerprint so that you can be ready is need be.


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