With the South Carolina legislature indicating it will not return this session, permitless carry failed to pass yet again. A vote on this dangerous gun bill, which could put South Carolinians at risk of even more gun violence, is now pushed to January of 2024 at the earliest. Moms Demand Action and partners in our gun safety coalition fiercely advocated against this bill and our efforts helped to ensure South Carolina lawmakers did not fold to the political pressures and as a response, greatly endanger their constituents.
Research shows that states that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates. As we approach January, South Carolinian lawmakers now have a chance to once again reject this attempt to further endanger their citizens and take common-sense steps to save lives from gun violence. Weakening firearm carry standards will not make South Carolinians any more free, it’ll only restrict the freedom to go about their lives without fear of gun violence.
Additionally, our research shows law enforcement experts, firearm trainers, and military personnel overwhelmingly agree that people who carry concealed weapons in public should take firearm training, including live-fire training.
“While we support the second amendment rights of South Carolinians and our history of responsible gun ownership, we do not want to see permitless carry signed into law. Proper training with a firearm on when and how to use one is essential to responsible gun ownership,” said Sheriff Leon Lott. “The policy would challenge our ability to determine who should and should not be carrying a firearm in public, making it much harder to keep our communities, and our officers, safe in the line of duty”
For over a century, states have recognized the public safety benefits of requiring a permit to carry concealed guns. Yet over the last decade, the gun lobby has been promoting legislation to allow people to carry concealed guns in public places without a permit, background check, or safety training, dismantling the system of responsible gun ownership.
In an average year, 1,044 people are killed by guns in the state, with a 47% death increase from 2012 to 2021, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. Gun violence costs South Carolina around $14.0 billion each year. More information about gun violence in South Carolina is available here.
If you would like to speak to a Moms Demand Action volunteer who is greatly involved in this fight, please don’t hesitate to reach out.